DFA welcomes G7 declaration on South China Sea row
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday welcomed the statement of the Group of Seven (G7) advanced economies sending a strong message to China on the territorial disputes in Asia.
In its statement, the DFA said that the G7 declaration supports the stance of the Philippine government in seeking a peaceful resolution of its territorial dispute with China through arbitration.
The Philippine government also said that it will respect the outcome of the arbitration process that it started in 2013.
“The Philippines welcomes the statement as it underlines the G7’s abiding commitment to support efforts to peacefully manage and settle the disputes in the South China Sea in accordance with the 1982 UN (United Nations) Convention on the Law of the Sea, through mechanisms recognized by international law, including legal procedures such as arbitration,” the statement read.
The G7 declaration is said to be consistent with the international community’s support for the Philippines’ “principled and rules-based approach for addressing disputes” in the South China Sea, the DFA added.
In an interview over state-run radio dzRB, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. rejected allegations that the United States is meddling in the arbitral process started by the Philippines.
The Palace official also assured that the US is not taking sides on the matter.
“Sa lahat ng ating nasasaksihan, wala naman tayong nakikitang patunay sa alegasyong iyan sa paglahok ng Pilipinas sa mga international meetings katulad ng ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) at iyong US-ASEAN Special Summit na ipinatawag ni President Obama noong nakaraang Pebrero.”
(As we are witnessing, there is no truth to that allegation about the Philippines’ participation in international meetings like ASEAN, APEC and US-ASEAN Special Summit called by President Obama last February.)
“Malinaw naman iyong pagpapahayag ng posisyon ng Estados Unidos na ang kanilang kinakatigan ay iyong mga prinsipyong tinalakay natin kanina, iyong kahalagahan ng paggalang sa rule of law, kasama nga diyan iyong batas na sumasaklaw sa mga karagatan o iyong UNCLOS,” Coloma said during the interview on Sunday.
(The United States’ position is clear that they are in favor of the principles we have discussed earlier, the importance of respecting the rule of law, including the Law of the Sea or UNCLOS.)
China’s Ambassador to the Netherlands Wu Ken said in an earlier Xinhua report that the arbitration case filed by the Philippines in The Hague is “a legal monstrosity and reeks of hegemony from Washington.” RAM/rga