Romualdez backs call for Asean unity on South China Sea issues
MANILA, Philippines — Speaker Martin Romualdez supported President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos’ call for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member-states to unite in promoting peace in the disputed areas of the South China Sea at the 43rd Asean Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia.
“By reiterating this stand in the ASEAN forum, we are emphasizing the importance of peaceful dialogue and negotiations, ensuring that our sovereign rights are recognized and respected,” Romualdez said in a statement on Wednesday.
Recently, China has released its latest ‘ten-dash line’ map, which covers more areas in the disputed waters as its alleged territory.
The Philippines, with Malaysia, Vietnam, and India have objected to the map.
Romualdez added that an Asean union for the resolution of issues in the South China Sea would be beneficial for all concerned countries.
“A united ASEAN working together for the observance of rules-based order in the South China Sea can exert considerable influence towards peaceful and diplomatic settlement of disputes which would be mutually beneficial for all concerned,” he said.
Marcos Jr., in his intervention speech said that the Philippines will collaborate with all countries concerned to preserve order in the disputed waters.
“For our part, the Philippines will continue to work with all the countries to foster a rules-based international order. We remain committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes in the South China Sea in accordance with international law,” Marcos Jr. said.
He added that all concerned countries must exercise self-restraint so as not to complicate matters, and that peace, stability and security was to be of utmost priority.
“We once more call upon all parties for self-restraint on activities that complicate disputes in the South China Sea. We must not undermine regional peace, stability, and security. We cannot emphasize enough that actions, not words, should be the ultimate measure.”