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Philippine president to lobby for China, Asean code of conduct on dispute at summit

Publication Date : 07-05-2014

 

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday said President Benigno Aquino III will raise the issue of territorial disputes with China and efforts to resolve it at the 24th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit in Myanmar over the weekend.

“I’m sure the president will be bringing up this agenda item. I think he will be asking his fellow Asean leaders to work for the early conclusion of the COC (code of conduct),” DFA spokesperson Charles Jose said in a press briefing in the Presidential Palace.

Aquino will fly to Myanmar on May 10 for the two-day Asean summit, where the region’s heads of state will discuss the initiative for Asean integration and their views on current regional and international issues.

The Asean is currently working on the drafting of a code of conduct with China to ease tensions amid maritime disputes in the South China Sea. The Philippines is among the nations embroiled in territorial spats with China.

Asked if the COC will be finalised within the year, Jose said no deadline had been agreed upon.

Nevertheless he said, “The Philippines is encouraged by the recent developments in the drafting of the Code of Conduct. There have been three meetings thus far since September 2013.”

Jose said the Philippine government was optimistic, at least when it comes to the sentiment of the other Asean nations.

However, he explained that it could only hope that China would be as enthusiastic.

“We are hoping that China will move in the same pace…We can only hope,” he said.

 

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