PH hosts Asean-China forum on South China Sea cooperation
The Department of Foreign Affairs on Monday said it is hosting a seminar on international cooperation in South China Sea, with experts from China and member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations coming to Manila this week.
In a statement, the agency said the event will “build on the gains that have been achieved so far in efforts to build peace and stability in the South China Sea.”
This is amid claims of island-building in disputed areas in South China Sea.
The seminar, which will be held on August 28 and 29, will focus on the “full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC).”
“The seminar also seeks to boost regional efforts to ensure peace and stability in the South China Sea, to help prevent maritime accidents, and to preserve and protect the marine environment and promote sustainable fisheries,” Secretary Alan Cayetano said in a statement.
Participants will include senior diplomats, policy-makers and maritime cooperation scholars.
“The seminar highlights the commitment of the Philippines to implement the DOC while we continue with efforts to craft a substantive and effective Code of Conduct,” Cayetano said. “These practical measures are essential in ensuring that the region remains peaceful and stable, and that the interests of coastal states like the Philippines are protected.”
The DFA said it is the second seminar convened by the agency. The first, in 2015, focused on “discussions on peaceful settlement of disputes and what constitutes ‘self-restraint’ as it applies to activities of claimant states in the South China Sea.”
Besides China and the Philippines, Brunei, Taiwan, Malaysia and Vietnam have overlapping claims in parts of South China Sea.