Home Economy Regional alliances crucial for peace, security — PHL envoy

Regional alliances crucial for peace, security — PHL envoy

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PHILIPPINE STAR/ MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

THE REGIONAL bloc is crucial for addressing peace, security, and bolstering economic and maritime partnerships, the Philippines’ ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) said.

This comes amid worsening tensions between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea, where Beijing’s Coast Guard has repeatedly blocked Manila’s resupply missions to its military outpost in Second Thomas Shoal, which the Philippines calls Ayungin.

Hjayceelyn M. Quintana, permanent representative of the Philippines to ASEAN, addressed foreign envoys in Jakarta on June 28 about regional organizations such as ASEAN and the Pacific Alliance (PA) as avenues to bolster these partnerships, the Philippine Embassy in Jakarta said in a statement on Friday.

“Ambassador Quintana highlighted the crucial role of regional organizations such as ASEAN and the PA, particularly in the maintenance of international peace and security, as well as in the promotion of development and prosperity,” Manila’s embassy in Jakarta said.

“She stressed that while ASEAN and PA are an ocean away, they play vital roles in shaping global dynamics and navigating the complexities of the world.”

The PA  is a regional bloc composed of Latin American countries Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru.

China’s Foreign Ministry has expressed willingness to continue working with ASEAN members to manage differences at sea and deepen sea-related cooperation.

ASEAN and China have been in talks since 2002 to craft a code of conduct in the waterway, with both sides seeking to fast-track the measure.

China has issued a policy allowing its coast guard to detain people it deems trespassers in disputed areas.

China’s new policy, which the Philippine Coast Guard said is illegal, permits its coast guard to detain foreigners suspected of violating its exit-entry rules, including in disputed areas of the South China Sea, for up to 60 days without a trial.

Philippine President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. has said he had approached Malaysia and Vietnam to discuss crafting a code of conduct, citing limited progress in striking a broader regional pact with Beijing.

More than $3 trillion worth of trade passes yearly through the sea, which China claims almost in its entirety. A United Nations-backed tribunal in 2016 voided its claim as illegal. — John Victor D. Ordoñez

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