Aquino urges China, Asean to respect exclusive economic zones under Unclos


Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III participates in the exchanges during the 7th East Asia Summit (EAS) Plenary Session at the CM Meeting Room, 1st Floor, Peace Palace on Tuesday (November 20, 2012) at the sidelines of the 21st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits. Gil Nartea / Malacañang Photo Bureau

PHNOM PENH––In strongly worded remarks, President Aquino on Tuesday called on all parties to respect the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of coastal states, “irrespective of their size or naval power,” and in conformity with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos).

Speaking at the 7th East Asia Summit, the penultimate gathering of leaders at the 21st Asean Summit and related Summits here, Mr. Aquino called on all the claimant countries in Asean to “consider coming together to begin discussing the clarification of maritime claims and the resolution of their maritime disputes.”

He said this should be done in accordance with international law, especially Unclos.

The Unclos sets the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) to up to 200 nautical miles from the coast in which states have the right to explore and exploit natural resources but allow freedom of navigation and overflight to others.

But this will likely not sit well with China, which claims virtually the entire South China Sea, parts of which the Philippines calls the West Philippine Sea.

The Philippines has tussled with China over certain isles and reefs in the vicinity of the Spratly chain, as well as over the Scarborough shoal, that fall within the former’s EEZ and conflict with the latter’s nine-dash claim.

The nine-dash claim is China’s delineation of its territory in the South China Sea, with nine dashes on the map that enclose all of the Spratly archipelago, parts of which are claimed by the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan.

“At no time in the contemporary history of the South China Sea has clarification and delimitation of maritime areas become more urgent and imperative than they are now,” Mr. Aquino said.

In his statement, he quoted directly from paragraph five of the 10-year-old Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC).

Under the DOC, the parties shall “exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability, including, among others, refraining from action of inhabiting on the presently uninhabited islands, reefs, shoals, cays and other features and to handle their differences in a constructive manner.”

Mr. Aquino also emphasized that all parties to the proposed code of conduct in the South China Sea, when finalized, must be fully committed to its full implementation.

“As we in Asean embark on negotiating a code of conduct, we must make sure that its provisions are not only stronger, binding, and credible, but that all parties to the COC must be fully committed to its implementation,” he said.

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  • dprotector

    There should always be a law for civilized people and Aquino is right because UNCLOS and EEZ  is the only international law for the seas. Other than this is war or the rule of might is not norm at this age and time. I hope communist China’s leaders come to it’s senses and follow the rule of law.

    • iris

       I am afraid that you are absolutely oppositely right.

       There are more laws about sea than the hairs on my bald head.

  • iris

    EEZ has nothing to do with the dispute of Islands with China.

    EEZ isn’t territory;

    EEZ has limit even within 200 nautical miles.

    But why some people, including political heads, still get confused or are confusing ?

    Because that is the only basis they have !

    Even this basis is baseless.

    • Rein Luna

      It’s a shoal or reef, not an island.
      therefore if it’s within our EEZ, it’s ours,
      No it’s not an island.
      Have you seen it? It doesn’t look like an island.
      No one lives there. It’s not an island.
      If there’s no island, then Diaoyu Island does not exist.
      If it’s an island, guess what, it’s still ours.
      But it’s not an island.

      Our basis is international law, not some relic map from a relic empire.
      See us in international court. We’ll wait until you’re civilized.

    • Raul


  • Mao Mao Chamn

    Calling our 50 Centy Party Members, AFPako, PurpleDaisy13, Matt Lee, Topolcats, vf I et. al.

    Our motherland has been receiving all the heat on this pesky issue of West Filipin Sea.  As a chinese agent, you are hereby instructed by our dear leader Bo Xilai to intensify the campaign of mass suicide in China in order for our motherland to regain lost honor and prestige in the international community and responsible states. 

    We must report to our dear leader Xi Jinping the current situation in the West Filipin Sea as this issue will serve as the “waterloo” of China.  The issue seemed to last longer than expected.  We must protect our motherland from disintegration similar to what had happened with USSR in the 90’s.  We have to “hide our strength and bide our time” as what our dear leader Deng Xiaoping had exorted to us in the past.  It is with absolute certainty that in the event of war in the West Filipin Sea, our motherland will lose.  It will also lose Tibet, a sovereign country that we occupied, pillage, and rape.  We will also lose Xinjiang.  However, we will not lose the country.  We will only lose the communist party.  China will be respected again and become richer when the Kuomintang party of Taiwan leads our motherland.  

    As of now, we need to intensify the campaign of mass suicide to regain our honor.

    So ordered.

    • AFPako

       Maomaogook, we are very dissapointed you have shown your kayumangmang color . Backstabber ka unggok. Ang regalo  pa namin sa iyo ay libre isang buwan ng dilis at botchang baboy para naman makakain at matulungan ang pamilya mo. Dios ko santisima, chupapa ka pala sa mga kapwang kayumangmang. Heheehe

      • bugoybanggers

        Respect your dear leader! Or else FIRING SQUAD ka!

  • Mao Mao Chamn


    this is the reason why our motherland and its inhabitants are considered monkeys and still living in medieval period.  As a member of 50 Cent Party (see wikipedia), you are hereby instructed to cease and desist in posting opium-laden comments that will give our motherland bad image in the eyes of the international community.  So ordered.

  • Lopez_Chaena

    They are not confused, you on the other hand are intentionally misinterpreting the law to suit your own selfish motives.

  • valsore

    A China that listens to aspirations of other countries has never occured in the last 4,000 years. Will they negotiate in good faith now? Unlikely. Be practical people. Talk is not enough. It just shows that there is no use talking about defending one’s territory, It’s either you defend it, or not. Words are not sufficient here. We must invest in a strong and effective Navy and Air Force. Follow the example of Israel. Get 800 fighter planes. Get 20,000 battle ships and 50,000 tanks. Fortify the Spratlys and the Shoal, and put develop the islands as tourist destinaton with a first-class hotel, seaport, and airport. Above all, boycott Made In China now to weaken their buidget for their military!

  • bugoybanggers

    Ang dami rin palang ABOGADO sa CHINA ano? daming palusot! Siguro baka mga TSINOY ang mga abogado nila na nakag aral sa PILIPINAS. Hindi mag kaiba ang mga patutsada nila, kasing tulad din sa mga DAHILAN, PALUSOT, May pa-CUTE pa ng ating mga kagalang galang na hukuman! Yun na nga, tama talaga, may nagTEXT na ang mga miembro daw ng CHINESE POLITBURO ay nag SEMINAR sa UP-Diliman (College of LAW-LAW) at may lecturer pa na galing San BEDA na nagpaBIDA BIDA. Kaya, salamat po sa tulong ninyo para maturuan ang mga Tsekwa tungkol sa mga PALUSOT. Ang galing PINOY, kayo pala ang mastermine.

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