Duterte presses rule of law in South China Sea before Chinese premier
President Rodrigo Duterte has stressed before Chinese premier Le Kequiang the importance of adhering to the rule of law in the South China Sea during the ASEAN-China Summit in Laos, his spokespersons said on Wednesday.
Presidential spokesperson Secretary Ernesto Abella and Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said that the South China Sea was raised during the ASEAN-China Summit, attended by Li.
“As to the Philippines, this is what President Duterte explained earlier: It is imperative to have people-to-peace exchange, investment relationship fostered, tourism growth in ASEAN region, international dispute should inspire to work together with adherence to the rule of law and international governing bodies, put words into actions, and be on the side of peace,” Andanar said.
Andanar said that Li was “stoically” listened to Duterte’s remarks.
He, however, said that there was no mention of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruling on the South China Sea dispute.
The tribunal in July ruled in favor of the Philippines in saying that there was no basis for China’s historical claims over most of the South China Sea, including areas within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.
Other countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore also raised the South China Sea issue during the summit.
“It was voluntarily raised by the different heads of state. They have their own different positions but the most common position is to work on mutual trust and confidence building and work on the common goals of the ASEAN,” Andanar said.
Li said that the South China Sea issue should not represent main relations. But Andanar said that the Chinese Premier is asking to begin the framework of the Code of Conduct.
“China was vigorously asking to begin with a framework of the code of conduct, as well as Singapore. The President of the Philippines also expressed his approval of having this,” Andanar said. Read more…
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