President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s call for diplomacy in handling tensions in the West Philippine Sea, which have been exacerbated by the recent incident involving the China Coast Guard (CCG) and Philippine Navy troops, has received support from about 33 Filipino-Chinese business chambers in the country.

In a statement, the members of the Fil-Chinese chambers of commerce said they support President Marcos’ wish for resolving the current issues peacefully through sincere dialogue. They urge both the Philippine and Chinese governments to pursue courses of action that ensure peace, maintain order, and ensure the safety of their respective nations and peoples.

Rather than conflict or discord, they advocate for choosing harmony as the preferred outcome in addressing the disputes and tensions between the two countries.

“Instead of conflict, let us choose stability. In these tumultuous times, with rising tensions in other parts of the world, let us not risk the unity that has prevailed in our Asian region for hundreds of years,” they said.

“We value the friendly relations between our countries that span generations. We are connected by cultural affinities, family ties, and substantial economic partnerships. Together we endured the trials of World War I| and remained allies in many ways. Our nations have consistently showcased the manifold benefits of mutual respect. As such, we implore both sides to refrain from actions or declarations that will only fuel the already precarious situation,” they added.

They also proposed creating a neutral and diplomatic venue for discussions that emphasize “mutual respect” between the Philippines and China.

The Fil-Chinese business chambers said this approach aims to safeguard the sovereignty of both nations while fostering cordial relations throughout the Asian region.

“Ang buong samahan ng mga Filipino-Chinese ay naniniwala na sa isang mapayapa at mapang unawang pag-uusap [ay] maaari nating mabigyang lunas and namumuong alitan ng Pilipinas and China. We firmly believe that only through constructive dialogue, devoid of reproach and condemnation, are we to find common ground that will lead to an amicable resolution of our differences,” they added.