Former Philippine President Fidel Ramos arrived in Hong Kong late Monday in a bid to "rekindle" ties with China as a special envoy to the country after an international tribunal rejected Beijing's historic claims to much of the South China Sea.

Ramos, 88, stressed that he had no authority to negotiate with Chinese officials, but said that formal bilateral talks on the maritime disputed between the two countries would likely take place "in the near future."

"Please do not make any mistake. I am not going there to negotiate. That belongs to the officials," Ramos was quoted by the state-run Philippines News Agency as saying at a news conference ahead of his departure.