South China Sea: Philippines and Vietnam Agree to Implement Code of Conduct — The position of both countries on the handling of the dispute was “convergent” and that “there is no conflict.”

HANOI – Officials of the Philippines and Vietnam have agreed to fast-track the finalization and implementation of a code of conduct (COC) to ease tensions in the South China Sea.

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Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. said claims to the disputed territories was one of the topics of discussion in President Duterte’s talks with Vietnamese leaders during his two-day official visit here.

Both the Philippines and Vietnam claim parts of the South China Sea, which is being claimed in its entirety by China.

Yasay said the position of both countries on the handling of the dispute was “convergent” and that “there is no conflict.”

 

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, right, attends a wreath laying ceremony at the Monument of National Heroes and Martyrs in Hanoi, Vietnam, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016. AP
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Yasay said the position of both countries on the handling of the dispute was “convergent” and that “there is no conflict.”

“We’ve agreed like the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, of which the Philippines and Vietnam are members, to respect the rule of law, international law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas,” Yasay said.

“Together we agreed to fully implement the Declaration of Conduct that was signed by all Asean members in 2002, and to proceed on a fast track with the coming out of a COC,” he said.

Yasay made the statement in a press briefing on Thursday after Mr. Duterte’s meeting with top Vietnamese leaders.

During his conversation with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang, Mr. Duterte explained the necessity for the Philippines to have bilateral talks with China on the territorial dispute.

For its part, Vietnam pushed for both multilateral and bilateral talks to resolve the dispute.

Brunei and Malaysia also lay claim to territories in the South China Sea.

“Bilateral engagements with China are necessary because the arbitration tribunal’s decision has no enforcement capability or mechanisms on its own,” Yasay said.

He was referring to the decision of an international tribunal favoring the Philippines over China in its claim over territories in the South China Sea.

Yasay noted that “the enforcement and implementation of the arbitral tribunal’s decision will have to be pursued and made by the claimants themselves through their own agreements.”

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, a member of Mr. Duterte’s official delegation, said Vietnam agreed that the dispute should be resolved through the principles of Asean.

“And we should have multilateral and bilaterals through the Asean,” Cayetano said.

Yasay said Vietnam could use the arbitral tribunal’s decision to support its legal claim to the South China Sea should that nation file a case against China.

“Vietnam has not filed against China before the arbitral tribunal, but if they so decide they can certainly use the arbitral tribunal’s decision as a precedent in their supporting their legal claims and strengthen their legal claims,” he said.

Meanwhile, Yasay said Mr. Duterte will bring up the arbitral tribunal’s ruling at “one point in time” when bilateral talks with China begin.

“Maybe this time is not right for it, but at one point in time, when we begin bilateral talks with China, in so far as coming out with a solution for the peaceful settlement of this dispute in the South China Sea, it must be within the context of the arbitral decision,” he said.

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Read more: http://globalnation.inquirer.net/145814/yasay-ph-vietnam-agree-on-code-of-conduct#ixzz4LiGo1MIR
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One Response to “South China Sea: Philippines and Vietnam Agree to Implement Code of Conduct — The position of both countries on the handling of the dispute was “convergent” and that “there is no conflict.””

  1. daveyone1 Says:

    Reblogged this on World Peace Forum.

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