Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Philippines thanks China for help amid sea spat

MANILA (AFP) - President Benigno Aquino on Tuesday thanked China for its help to finish a major Philippine water project, amid frayed relations between the two countries over disputed territory in the South China Sea. Mr Aquino said the situation showed how countries could help each other even as his spokesman stressed the Philippines was firm on its claim to disputed territories like the Scarborough Shoal. 'We are thankful for the funds provided by China so we could set up this important project. It is through firm relations with our neighbouring countries that we can speedily solve our problems,' Mr Aquino said in a speech. China backed the 5.2 billion-peso (S$157 million) project, to improve water delivery to 21 million residents of Manila and surrounding provinces, through the preferential buyer's credit of China's Export-Import Bank.