PH should make sure WPC Code of Conduct in line with int'l law - US

PH should make sure WPC Code of Conduct in line with int’l law – US

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The United States says the Philippines should make sure that the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea should be consistent with international law.

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“As a claimant state in the South China Sea, the Philippines is well-positioned to ensure that the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) code of conduct text is fully consistent with international law, protecting the freedom of navigation and overflight and other lawful uses of the sea for all countries, as well as the rights of claimant states to pursue security and development arrangements with partners of their choosing,” State Department Assistant Secretary David Stilwell said Tuesday in a statement at the conclusion of the US-Philippines Eight Bilateral Strategic Review in Manila.

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China, Taiwan and some ASEAN member-states including the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, and Vietnam, have respective claims in the South China Sea.

For more than a decade, China and the ASEAN committed to adopt the COC but it was only during the 20th ASEAN-China Summit in the Philippines in November 2017 that the processing of the document gained traction.

To date, Beijing and the 10-member states of the bloc are holding a series of negotiations to finish a mutually agreed edict.

The US wants an effective and substantive COC that would not prejudice the rights under international law of both claimant states and non-claimant states. (PNA)

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