Asean just wants peace in region amid China-Taiwan tension, sea row – Marcos
MANILA, Philippines — All members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) only want sustained peace in the region amid ongoing tensions between China and Taiwan and on the West Philippine Sea, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said over the weekend.
According to Marcos, Asean member states acknowledged that they should not be involved in the dispute between Beijing and Taipei since it is an internal matter to them and that majority of the regional group members still recognize the One China policy – that Taiwan is part of China.
Nevertheless, the Asean agrees that issues between China and Taipei must be resolved peacefully to maintain stability in the region, he added.
“So at least that position of Asean is clear. So that has always (been the stand) – lalo na ‘yung mga problems on Taiwan Strait. Sinasabi, karamihan naman sa’min One China Policy. So sinasabi namin, okay, we are still following the One China Policy but it is – we just want peace,” Marcos said in an interview with reporters on Sunday, shortly before leaving Cambodia where the 40th and the 41st Asean summit were held.
(So at least that position of Asean is clear. So that has always been the stand, especially on the problems over the Taiwan Strait. We say, many of us observe the One China Policy. So we stress, okay, we are still following the One China Policy but it is — we just want peace.)
“We follow the One China Policy, dapat wala kaming — it’s an internal matter. We believe that Taiwan is part of China but you must resolve those issues peacefully. ‘Yon lang naman ang hinihingi ng Asean. Huwag magkagulo,” he added.
(We follow the One China Policy, so we should not have any say, it’s an internal matter. We believe that Taiwan is part of China but you must resolve those issues peacefully. That is what the Asean is asking for. That the region remains stable.)
The One China policy is an understanding that there is only one China – the People’s Republic of China (PRC) – and that the Republic of China or Taiwan is just a province of the PRC.
Taiwan, however, has maintained over the years that they are an independent country that is ruled by its own government.
On the West Philippine Sea, Marcos said maintaining peace in the area was not just a concern for the Philippines but also for many of the Asean member states. But he admitted that there is no new development on the creation of the Code of Conduct for the south China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea.
Marcos said the code must be finalized to ensure stability in Southeast Asia and avoid conflict and misunderstanding.
While relations between China and the Philippines have improved in recent years, the two countries are still locked in a maritime dispute as Beijing continues to ignore the historic ruling of the United Nations-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration based in The Hague, Netherlands, which ruled in favor of Manila and invalidated China’s sweeping nine-dash line claim over the South China Sea.
Although, there is optimism that ties can be strengthened under the administration of Marcos.
Last Friday, Malacañang confirmed that Marcos had accepted Chinese President Xi Jinping’s invitation for him to hold a state visit to China on January 3, 5 and 6, 2023.
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