Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Malacañang hopes China would join the crafting of a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea

The Palace has expressed hope that China would actively participate in the drawing up of a binding Code of Conduct in the South China Sea to ensure regional stability.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that China has been provided the draft of the Code of Conduct, which it is studying. 

"So it is very, very important for us to come up with a Code of Conduct, and hopefully, China will cooperate and will continue to have a discussion with the ASEAN nations on firming up the Code of Conduct," he added.

Lacierda acknowledged that producing a binding code would take time. He however reiterated that what is important is that the countries involved would continue talking.

It is in the interest of all the countries concerned to have a peaceful co-existence so that prosperity will be shared, he said, noting that with an unstable region, it would be difficult for everyone to promote trade.

Lacierda said all countries, including China, are conscious and aware of the need for regional stability, which will equate to a shared economic prosperity in the region.

On the case filed by the Philippines against China at the International Arbitral Tribunal, the Palace official expressed confidence that the country's lawyers will successfully present its case.

"Again, we are very confident that our lawyers will be able to present a convincing case and that we, as always, have emphasized the rule of law," he said.

"We have always been consistent whether it is with the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), or whether it is with the Arbitral Tribunal, the President has always emphasized the primacy of the rule of law." (PCOO News Release)

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