DND welcomes setting of West Philippine Sea code of conduct | Global News

DND welcomes setting of West Philippine Sea code of conduct

/ 07:29 PM November 22, 2011

West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) AFP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of National Defense (DND) welcomes as a positive development the deadline set for the drafting of guidelines to govern behavior in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

“When groups of countries resolve one thing or come to an agreement it will always be a positive move,” said DND spokesman Zosimo Paredes.


Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said Monday that a draft code of conduct for the sea would be out by July 2012.


Paredes said Manila expressed optimism the code of conduct  would curb incursions and diffuse tension in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

At the same time, the code of conduct will “make things clear.”

The West Philippine Sea is an area of more than 3,000,000 square kilometers on the western edge of the Pacific, with China and Taiwan to the north, the Philippines to the east, Borneo island to the south, and Vietnam to the west.

It contains hundreds of islets and rocks in the Paracel and Spratly islands, mostly unsuitable for human habitation.

China and Taiwan both claim the whole of the sea, while Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei each have often overlapping claims to parts of it.

In May this year Vietnam accused Chinese marine surveillance vessels of cutting an oil survey ship’s exploration cables, sparking nationalist protests in Vietnamese cities.


In 1995, China began building structures on Mischief Reef, within the Philippines’ claimed exclusive economic zone.

This year Manila has accused the Chinese military of firing on Filipino fishermen, laying buoys and harassing an oil exploration vessel in its waters.

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Asean and China adopted a non-binding “declaration of conduct” in 2002 to discourage hostile acts. But attempts to transform it into a legally binding “code of conduct” have so far eluded agreement. With Agence France-Presse

TAGS: Code of Conduct, DND, South China Sea, Spratly Islands, Spratlys, West Philippine Sea

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