Philippine slams outside interference in South China Sea dispute
People's Daily Online
(People's Daily Online) 16:54, August 09, 2017
Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday warned countries outside of the South China Sea, denouncing their interference in the disputed water.
The remarks come on the heel of a joint statement issued by the U.S., Japan, and Australia on Aug.7 calling on China and the Philippines to abide by the 2016 arbitration ruling on South China Sea.
In response to the accusation, Cayetno said the Philippines is sovereign and independent and will not be instructed by other nations when it comes to the South China Sea issue. The Secretary also noted that the Philippines will decide what is best for the country's national interest.
Though the U.S., Japan, and Australia are not claimants in the South China Sea, they have been constantly vocal on the dispute, calling for so-called "Freedom of Navigation" to satisfy their own needs.
Countries in the region, on the other hand, have reached certain consensus on the issue. The foreign ministers of the Association of Southeastern Asian Nations (ASEAN) issued a joint communiqué on Sunday, in which they took note of the improving situation in the South China Sea over the past year, agreeing that promoting peace, stability, and prosperity in the region will benefit all parties.
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