Arming Chinese fishermen a bad idea: Philippines

Above: Secretary Edwin Lacierda

Malacañang on Sunday said the territorial disputes in the West Philippine (South China) Sea and at Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal may not be resolved peacefully if China armed its fishermen.

"We have made efforts to deescalate tensions. And certainly arming fishermen will not be in the best interests of both countries," presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said Sunday over government radio dzRB.

The Philippines and China have yet to resolve their two-month standoff at Panatag Shoal.

Lacierda was reacting to a report that quoted a Chinese fishery official as asking Beijing to provide arms and military training to more than 100,000 fishermen based in Hainan and allow them to venture out to the West Philippine Sea.

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