Manila, Philippines — The Governments of the Republic of the Republic of the Philippines and the People's Republic of China signed late last year the Joint Action Plan for Strategic Cooperation between the two countries which provides, among others, that "the two sides shall continue to participate in regional/international initiatives/collaboration to promote sustainable development such as the Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA)."
In Part XV of the Joint Action Plan, the two countries stated that "both sides will work cooperatively toward the implementation of the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA)" under PEMSEA. The Agreement further provides that "the Government of the People's Republic of China, through the State Oceanic Administration (SOA), will continue to provide financial and technical support for the operation of the PEMSEA Resources Facility (PRF) Secretariat Services, with co-financing support also committed by Japan and the Republic of Korea."In addition, both sides "shall continue to support and explore environmental cooperation in efforts to address environmental problems to promote sustainable development. The two governments also agreed to strengthen "collaboration on policies, conduct of researches and capacity building on the environment and natural resources sectors, including disaster management."According to the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines which provided PEMSEA an official copy of the Joint Action Plan, the idea for the bilateral initiative arose during the January 2007 official visit to the Philippines of Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council of the People's Republic of China when he and Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo directed their respective Foreign Ministries to formulate a Joint Action Plan that would further deepen cooperation and provide strategic direction for long-term growth of Philippines-China relations.The Joint Action Plan took effect upon its signing by Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi and Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alberto G. Romulo in late October 2009 and will be valid for five years.