President Rodrigo R. Duterte will reiterate the “principled positions” of the Philippine government concerning the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) and other issues during his participation at the 33rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.
Malacañang, in a statement, said the Philippine government looks forward to exchanging views on ASEAN community-building and discussions on regional and global developments that impact regional peace, security and stability.
“The President will reiterate the Philippines’ principled positions on matters concerning the South China Sea and transnational and trans-boundary issues such as terrorism, violent extremism, trafficking in persons, illicit drugs and disaster risk reduction and management,” the statement read.
Duterte is expected to engage with leaders of ASEAN Dialogue Partner countries “to further enrich partnership in key areas of cooperation.”
On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), based at The Hague in the Netherlands, released a landmark decision that invalidated China’s nine-dash line map which China uses to claim nearly the entire West Philippine Sea.
Duterte chose to temporarily shelve an international arbitration court’s decision, nullifying China’s nine-dash line map, to give way to friendly and peaceful bilateral talks between both countries.
The President, however, would likely raise again the PCA decision before his term expires in 2022 despite China’s rejection of the ruling. (PNA)