Monday, December 2, 2013

US reaffirms support for code of conduct in Asian region

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 2): US reaffirms support for code of conduct in Asian region

The United States on Monday reaffirmed its support for a code of conduct that will ensure free navigation in the Southeast Asian region.

New US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg said that while the US does not take sides in disputes in the region, such a code of conduct will ease tensions in the area.

“We don’t take sides and we are not a claimant state on any of these territorial features. But at the same time, we strongly support the countries of this region coming together for a Code of Conduct, which will help set out the rules of the road or the rules of the sea, as it will be a way for tensions to decrease,” he said at a media briefing, after presenting his credentials to President Benigno Aquino III.

He said the same is true of “any legal recourse that the Philippine government has taken.”

Goldberg said the US had expressed its concern, both to the Chinese directly and through media, about China’s declaration of an air defense identification zone.

Such a move may not build confidence but may instead create tension, he added.

“We believe in free navigation whether it’s in the air or on sea. That’s where the United States stands, and we will continue to press those beliefs, and we will support the peaceful and legal, diplomatic efforts underway to resolve tensions,” he added.

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