PH tells China: Set example, promote peace | Global News

PH tells China: Set example, promote peace

/ 05:04 PM November 21, 2015

Philippine President Benigno Aquino speaks at a closing press conference for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit at the International Media Centre in Manila on November 19, 2015.  Asia Pacific leaders called on November 19 for more global cooperation in the struggle against terrorism, as a wave of deadly attacks claimed by the Islamic State group dominated the final day of the regional trade summit.      AFP PHOTO / Punit PARANJPE / AFP / PUNIT PARANJPE

President Benigno Aquino III speaks at a closing press conference for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit at the International Media Center in Manila on Nov. 19. AFP

KUALA LUMPUR—Amid the growing tension over the South China Sea, the Philippines has a message to China: Promote peace and set an example to other countries.

With China being one of the oldest civilizations in the world, the more it has to take the lead in promoting peace and harmony among its neighbor countries, according to the Philippines.


President Benigno Aquino III said this before a number of leaders at the 18th summit of the Association of South East Asian Nations in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where he had an opportunity to raise China’s incursion and bold reclamation activities in the disputed sea.


“Excellencies, Your Majesty, China’s economy is larger than that of the entire Asean; its population is larger than that of all Asean nations combined. Any uncertainty in the region affects more of their people. Is it not therefore reasonable to expect China to take the lead in pushing for mechanisms that ensure stability, so that a peaceful rise may truly be achieved, not only by China, but for the entire region?” Aquino said in his intervention.

“Likewise, all of our cultures tell us of the value of respecting elders; China claims to be among the oldest civilizations. We therefore hope that it sets an example for the rest of the region and takes the lead in promoting harmony among (neighbor countries). Excellencies, at this point when we are trying to manage issues, does not conducting massive reclamation and building of structures in contested waters make our collective task harder? We believe it does,” said Aquino.

Aquino said the conclusion of a Code of Conduct on the South China Sea would be a “fitting symbol of the maturing relationship between Asean and China.”

“It has been 13 years since the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea forged our collective commitment to address disputes peacefully and with good will. We should not wait any longer to establish the Code of Conduct and reinforce, without ambiguity or reservation, our political will with respect to the issue,” he said.

The President also maintained that the relationship of the Asean and China should be based on the consensus of all the leaders and stakeholders involved.

“We believe that it is incumbent upon all actors to pursue common interest through mutual respect and understanding, which have been cornerstones of our relationship throughout history. It is important that we sustain these values that our ancestors bequeathed to us: We believe that Asean-China engagements must be anchored upon a consensus resulting from genuine dialogue among all stakeholders, guided by obligations enshrined in international law and relevant instruments,” he said.

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TAGS: Asean Summit, China, Philippines

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