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Saturday, April 20, 2024

EU-backed ‘doctrine of behaviors’ in SCS to ease tensions–Marcos

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WITH the backing of the European Union (EU), President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. said he expects the resolution of the existing territorial disputes in the South China Sea (SCS).

In a press conference in Belgium on Wednesday, Marcos said the ASEAN and EU already have a joint declaration on the “doctrine of behaviors” in the SCS.

He noted the said declaration will help in the enforcement of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in the area.

“The doctrine of behaviors in the South China Sea is already a very, very big step for us in the Philippines for example and for all the countries around the South China Sea, that we now have the support, a strategic support from not only the member countries of EU but of EU itself,” Marcos said.

The Philippines and other ASEAN countries currently have existing territorial disputes with China over some parts of the WPS.

In 2016, the Hague Tribunal issued a ruling invalidating the “excessive” nine-dash line claims of China in the SCS, which falls within the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) under the UNCLOS.

However, China refused to recognize the ruling and insisted on having bilateral talks with the country to resolve the dispute.

“Now because EU and ASEAN, together comprise the largest, most well-organized regional aggrupation, then that will be a very, very strong—that will be a very, very strong position to be able to negotiate, even individually for the Philippines or jointly with ASEAN or even with the EU as perhaps as a third party for us to take action and to negotiate further these difficulties that we are all having to face with the problems in terms of territoriality in the South China Sea,” Marcos said.

Image credits: AP/Olivier Matthys

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