MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday, July 27, hailed the Philippines' "measured" response to the historic ruling against China over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
Kerry said he brought this up in a meeting with his Philippine counterpart, Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr, on Wednesday morning.
Kerry said he praised "the very responsible and measured way that the Philippine government has responded to the decision." (READ: PH calls for 'restraint, sobriety' amid favorable ruling on sea row)
Kerry is set to meet with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday. He is the first foreign minister scheduled to meet Duterte.
Duterte earlier said he plans not to "flaunt" the Philippines' victory in an effort to boost ties with China.
In a media briefing on Wednesday, Kerry added, "We hope to see a diplomatic process between and among the claimants without coercion without the use and threat of force." (READ: ASEAN ignores ruling on South China Sea)
Yasay, for his part, vowed the "full implementation" of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), a military deal between the Philippines and the US.
Yasay also said the Philippines wants to work with the US against terrorism and other global issues. – Rappler.com
Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at email@example.com.