PH welcomes G-7 declaration on sea dispute
MALACAÑANG on Sunday welcomed the Group of Seven (G-7) declaration expressing concern over the South China Sea disputes and urging peaceful resolution in accordance with international law.
In the G-7 declaration issued after their summit in Japan on Friday, the leaders of the United States, Japan, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Canada urged claimants to territory in the East and South China Seas to refrain from “unilateral actions that could increase tensions” while also avoiding “force or coercion in trying to drive their claims.”
Though no individual countries were mentioned, the contents of the declaration appeared to be directed at China, which is building artificial islands with airstrips and military facilities on them to bolster its claim to almost all of the South China Sea, including waters within the territories of other claimants—Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan.
China is also locked in a dispute with Japan over ownership of five inhibited islands in the East China Sea, known to the Japanese as the Senkakus and to the Chinese as the Diaoyus.
“Adherence to the rule of law as embodied in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea has always been the linchpin of Philippine policy,” Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a statement he read on state-run radio.
Coloma said President Aquino pursued a rules-based, peaceful and diplomatic resolution to the dispute with China over territory in the South China Sea.
He said the Aquino administration’s stand had gained support from the international community.
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