On Wednesday, Cambodia and Vietnam urged adherence to international law in the disputed South China…
In the South China Sea dispute, the Philippines emphasizes international backing.
The Philippines stressed during a meeting with ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Liverpool, United Kingdom, that the heightened tension in the South China Sea remains a “serious concern” and underscores the importance of the Code of Conduct (COC) in the region.
The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the 2016 Arbitral Award, according to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., are the twin anchors of Manila’s views and operations in the disputed waters.
“We’re not going to raise the anchor and drift or sail away from them.” During the December 12 meeting, he added, “We appreciate your support.” “China can claim and say anything it wants, but it can’t do anything without provoking retaliation from the Philippines.”
On November 16, the Chinese Coast Guard intercepted two Philippine boats delivering supplies to the BRP Sierra Madre’s military men near the Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal, blocking them and firing water cannons.
The mission was completed one week later without incident by the Philippine Navy resupply boats Unaizzah May 1 and Unaizzah May 3.
Delfin Lorenzana, the Philippines’ defense secretary, branded it an “affront to the Filipino people.”
“No one can stop us from doing what we have to do lawfully within the West Philippine Sea, a territory where we have sovereign rights under international law,” Lorenzana said in a statement.
The COC is supposed to serve as a regional framework for establishing rules and standards for maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea.
Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States make up the G7, an intergovernmental political forum.
Outside power is not welcome.
Locsin, who previously served as the ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations’ country coordinator, said the Philippines “helped lead the process and develop consensus.”
The COC negotiations, on the other hand, failed, according to Locsin.
Locsin did not provide any additional details about the talks, but he did say that he opposed the document’s exclusion of outside authority because it “would create a semi-legal sphere of influence repulsive to the comity of all nations.”
In a second statement, Locsin acknowledged the G7’s worry about recent developments in the region, as well as the G7’s opposition to “any unilateral efforts to change the status quo and the takeover of maritime features, hence exacerbating the current tensions.”
“We applaud G7 nations’ statements confirming an international rules-based system, including UNCLOS and the 2016 Award on the South China Sea arbitration,” he said.
“They help to maintain the legal order at sea.” They limit the legal and political space in which actions based on debunked historical claims and other bogus legal tactics to establish illegitimate but expansive maritime claims can flourish,” he noted.