From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 14): Aquino to push for diplomatic solution to West Philippine Sea issue during 21st ASEAN Summit
President Benigno S. Aquino III will push for the peaceful resolution in the
West Philippine Sea, hoping that leadership change in China will enhance
cooperation with the Philippines and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
The President will leave for Cambodia Saturday to attend the 21st ASEAN
Summit and other related summits, which China and the United States will also
Raul Hernandez, the spokesman of the Dept. of Foreign Affairs, told a media
briefing in Malacanang the President may raise the West Philippine Sea issue
when he attends the plenary and retreat sessions with other leaders Sunday.
“The West Philippine Sea or the maritime security and cooperation is one of
our advocacies and it will be in this context will we push the discussion of
this issue,” Hernandez said.
While the leadership change is a domestic activity in China, Hernandez said
the Philippines hopes that with the change, there would be a positive
development in the relationship between ASEAN and China as well as between China
and the Philippines.
“That’s why we are also expecting that with the developments there, there
would be an onward development as far as marine security and cooperation is
concerned,” he said.
With regard to the discussions over the Code of Conduct in the South China
Sea, Hernandez said it would be one of the topics for discussion with China in
the ASEAN-China Summit.
The initial ASEAN agreement, the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties on the
South China Sea, will reach its 10th year this year, the foreign affairs
Hernandez added that after the discussions, they expect China will commit on
starting the negotiation on the Code of Conduct for the good and stability and
the peace in the region.... Foreign ministers failed to agree on a joint communiqué on this the issue
several months ago, raising perceptions about rifts in the relationships among
the ASEAN-member countries.