Marcos to discuss South China Sea issues with Asean leaders
MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. left for Jakarta, Indonesia, on Monday to attend the 43rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit and Related Summits, saying in his departure speech that he will tackle the South China Sea and other matters important to the region.
“Once again, I will use this opportunity to advance Philippine priorities in Asean and work with our other Asean member states not only in addressing the complex challenges facing the region but also in pursuing opportunities for Asean as an ‘epicentrum of growth,’” the president said in his remarks at Villamor Air Base.
“My participation will highlight our advocacies in promoting a rules-based international order, including in the South China Sea, strengthening food security, calling for climate justice, tapping the potential of the digital and creative economies, protecting migrant workers in crisis situations, as well as combating trafficking-in-persons,” he added.
The gathering in Jakarta is Asean’s second summit this year. Mr. Marcos said this was an opportunity for the regional bloc to deepen its partnerships with other states in the region—Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, Korea, and the United States — as well as with the United Nations.
“We will foster cooperation with these countries in trade and investment, climate action, food security, clean energy, and maritime cooperation,” he said.
The president also said he would take part in the “Asean Plus Three” and East Asia Summits to discuss developments in the South China Sea, the situation in Myanmar, and the conflict in Ukraine, among other issues.
“I will also take the opportunity to meet with bilateral partners at the sidelines of the Asean Summit to advance cooperation that will benefit our national priorities. As a founding member, Asean has always been closely intertwined with Philippine foreign policy,” Marcos said.
“My administration will continue to ensure that our constructive engagements with Asean, our dialogue partners, and stakeholders serve our national interest and the well-being of the Filipino people,” he added.
The 43rd Summit and Related Summits has for its theme, “Asean Matters: Epicentrum of Growth.” It will conclude on Sept. 7, with a handover ceremony of the Asean chairmanship from Indonesia to Laos.
Established on Aug. 8, 1967, in Bangkok, Asean is a political and economic union of 10 member states in Southeast Asia. It is composed of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia.