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HONG KONG – Former Philippine president Fidel Ramos says China has welcomed him to come to Beijing for discussions in the wake of last month's international arbitration panel's ruling in favor of the Philippines over China's South China Sea maritime claims.
Ramos said in a statement Friday that he met in Hong Kong with the Chinese legislature's foreign affairs chief Fu Ying and a leading government-backed scholar on the dispute and agreed on the need to reduce tensions through talks.
However, Ramos told reporters that the ruling had not been directly discussed and gave no indication of when the Beijing talks might be held and suggested another negotiator might take his place.
The July 12 ruling by the panel in the Hague, Netherlands, ruled China's maritime claims had no basis in international law.