2023 September 6
PEACEFUL RESOLUTION. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. calls on his colleagues from ASEAN to continue to push for a resolution of the South China Sea dispute in a peaceful way. In his intervention during the 43rd ASEAN Summit Retreat on Tuesday (Sept. 5, 2023), Marcos said the Philippines will continue to coordinate with other countries regarding the use of rules-based international order.
MANILA – The Philippines continues to prefer a peaceful resolution of the South China Sea dispute and encourages Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members to not be swayed by “any single power”.
“The challenge for us remains that we should never allow the international order to be subjected to the forces of might applied for a hegemonic ambition,”
President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said in his intervention during the 43rd ASEAN Summit Retreat on Tuesday in Jakarta, Indonesia.
“History will ultimately judge whether the supremacy of the rule of law prevails, ushering in an era where all nations truly stand as equals, independent and unswayed by any single power,” he added.
The Philippines is among the countries in the region
fighting for its rightful area in the South China Sea, which is being claimed by China.
In 2016, the country won an arbitration case against China, the world’s second largest economy, on the territorial issue that was filed before the Permanent Court of Arbitration under the United Nations.
China, however, continues to reject the Arbitral’s decision, and even recently came out with an updated map using a 10-dash line map.
Amidst this development, Marcos said the government will continue to coordinate with other countries regarding the use of rules-based international order.
He also ensured the continued exercise of the freedom of navigation and overflight over the disputed waters in line with international laws such as the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
“The Philippines firmly rejects misleading narratives that frame the disputes in the South China Sea solely through the lens of strategic competition between two powerful countries. This not only denies us of our independence and agency but also disregards our own legitimate interests,” he said.
Marcos also called against any move that will complicate the issue.
“We therefore seek your support for the operationalization of practical measures such as the ADMM (ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting) Guidelines for Maritime Interaction, which we envision will be expanded to our external partners in due time,” he said.
He said the recently concluded 2nd ASEAN Multilateral Naval Exercise (AMNEX), which the Philippines hosted in Zambales and Bataan, and the 40th Meeting of the Joint Working Group on the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea are moves eyed to hasten the negotiations on a peaceful manner.
Joann Villanueva (PNA)