Friday, January 8, 2016

Consensus is growing on need for peaceful resolution of South China Sea dispute

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 8): Consensus is growing on need for peaceful resolution of South China Sea dispute

China cannot ignore the growing call from the international community on the need to resolve the South China Sea issue by adhering to the rule of law, President Benigno S. Aquino III said Friday.

Such call is in line with the Philippines' case filed at the international Arbitral Tribunal at The Hague, the President said during a media interview here.

"Ngayon, puwede ba ma-ignore ‘yung sa arbitration? Tandaan ninyo, lahat ng bansang may inaangkin dito sa tubig na ito, parating sinasabi, 'We want to adhere to international law, and this is in conformity with international law,’" he said.

China needs other countries to fuel its economic growth, he said, underscoring the importance of goodwill among nations.

"Umaasa tayo na pragmatic ang ating mga kapatid na Tsino, makikita ang ikabubuti kapag mas maliwanag na entitlements at obligations sa lahat," he said.

The President further said that the country has done everything to advance its interest in protecting its sovereignty.

Aside from filing a case at the international tribunal, the Philippines has also pushed for the conclusion of a binding Code of Conduct between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), he said, noting a major progress as the elements of the Code of Conduct are expected to be drawn up next month.

The regional bloc has made some progress since coming up with the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea back in 2002, the President said.

China has recently reported landing aircraft on its reclaimed island in the South China Sea, a move that has drawn rebuke from other claimants, such as the Philippines and Vietnam.

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