DFA thanks Germany for 'unflinching support' for int'l law amid WPS tension | Global News

DFA thanks Germany for ‘unflinching support’ for int’l law amid WPS tension

/ 02:23 PM January 12, 2024

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. meets with German Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock during a courtesy call in Malacañang on Thursday. Baerbock is on an official visit to the country from January 11 to 12

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. meets with German Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock during a courtesy call in Malacañang on Thursday, January 11, 2024. Baerbock is on an official visit to the country from January 11 to 12. (Photo from Presidential Communications Office Facebook page)

MANILA, Philippines — Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo hailed Germany for its unwavering commitment to uphold international law, in light of the tension in West Philippine Sea (WPS).

Manalo extended his gratitude to German Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on Thursday.


“On the issue of the South China Sea [and] West Philippine Sea, Secretary Manalo thanked Foreign Minister Baerbock for Germany’s unflinching support for international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the final and legally-binding 2016 Arbitral Award,” said Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in a statement.


The two diplomats met and affirmed their nations’ vow to put in place peace, development and rules-based order.

During the meeting, Baerbock had criticized China’s “risky maneuvers” in WPS, saying these moves violated the rights and economic development opportunities of countries in the region.

Apart from this remark, she previously stressed the need to maintain peace and stability in South China Sea.

According to her, Southeast Asia lies at the epicenter of global growth, but it is grappling with “increasing harsh winds” blowing against the rules-based order in South China Sea.

“The strategic importance of this region can be felt all the way to Europe,” said Baerbock in a tweet.

Other issues tackled during the meeting include political and economic relations between Philippines and Germany.


“[They] explored avenues to boost bilateral trade, promote investments and foster maritime cooperation,” DFA said.

“Labor cooperation was also discussed during the meeting, with specific focus on the placement of skilled Filipino workers and other professionals to live and work in Germany,” it noted.

“The meeting culminated in a reaffirmed vision for enhanced cooperation as the two countries celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations this year,” the department further said.

‘No right to interfere’

Germany’s stance on West Philippine Sea dispute does not sit well with China.

Not long after Baerbock’s criticism, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning said “no non-regional country has the right to interfere in the maritime disputes between China and the Philippines.”

“We are committed to properly handling disputes through dialogue and consultation with countries concerned, and would like to work with ASEAN countries to safeguard peace and stability in the region,” Mao remarked in a regular briefing on Thursday evening (Philippine time).

“That being said, China will firmly safeguard its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests,” he added.

China’s sweeping claim over most of South China Sea, including West Philippine Sea, has long been debunked by an international tribunal.

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Despite this, Chinese vessels continue to swarm the Philippine waters.

TAGS: DFA, Germany, Manalo, WPS

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