Tensions in the South China Sea require the Philippines to join forces with allies and neighbors to maintain peace there, including creating codes of conduct, as the situation will get “more dire,” the Philippine president said.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. at a Hawaii forum broadcast live in the Philippines on Monday that the priority is to maintain order and agreed rules to be followed.
He said the Philippines has reached out to other Southeast Asian countries with which the Philippines has territorial disputes, such as Vietnam and Malaysia, “to create our codes of conduct.”
The Philippines and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have been working with China over the past few years to create a framework for a code of conduct, a plan committed to as far back as 2002.
But progress has been slow, with negotiations on its content not yet underway and concerns about how committed China, which claims most of the South China Sea, is to a binding set of rules.
“It is important that we continue to strengthen our partnership. The main partner of the Philippines is the United States,” Marcos said, adding that Manila would also partner with countries that respect the rule of law.
Image Source: Mint