President Aquino met his counterpart Hu Jintao to discuss the matter on Wednesday and both parties are keen to resolve disputes as well as maintaining peace in the sea as not only is it full of oil and gas its also a major shipping lane.
"They actually even responded that there should be an implementing agreement already for the code of conduct in the South China Sea or the West Philippine Sea. That is very significant," Aquino said.
"There was no increase in tension, that is very, very clear," he said. "It’s significant that they will be pushing for that code, not just as a statement of principle but rather a binding agreement as to how each and every party in the dispute will conduct themselves."
The disputed area which is mainly islands uninhabited or reefs is also being disputed by ownership in the south China sea by Brunei,Malaysia,Taiwan and Vietnam which makes it a volatile area with so much money available for whoever can lay claim to ownership with the natural resources.
Beijing is pushing for one on one talks while the Philippines is seeking assistance from Association of South East Asian Nations with a role for the United States — which China opposes.
Although this has been an ongoing dispute for many years there was an agreement made in July setting the foundation of more to come amongst China and the other countries in the region. This was no doubt sparked by July’s military build up by China as a show of force which created political ripples as Vietnam and the Philippines tried to counteract.
Aquino will no doubt be looking to keep China onside with this political visit as hopes to open up trade further between the Philippines and China as well as hope investment packages may be forthcoming for infrastructure in the Philippines from China.
China is currently the Philippines third largest trade partner with two way trade of $27.7 billion for 2010 an increase of 35.1% since 2009