President Duterte Supports a Legally Binding South China Sea Code to End Rift with China

According to the Presidential Spokesperson, Duterte wants a legally binding code. [Image Credit: GentleSeas/Blogspot]

The recently concluded ASEAN meeting in Manila, Philippines can be called as a successful meeting. President Rodrigo Duterte was able to pull off the yearlong chairmanship and hosting. Now that the meeting is over, all eyes are now set to the Philippines and China’s relationship.

[Image Credit: PhilStar]
[Image Credit: Rappler]
The Philippines was previously Southeast Asia’s strongest voice when it comes to opposing China because of Scarborough Shoal. However, with President Duterte’s government, the two nations become “good friends.”

New Law?

[Image Credit: NDTV]
[Image Credit: NDTV]
A report of ABS-CBN revealed President Duterte wants a legally binding Code of Conduct in the South China Sea. According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, the president wanted a legally binding sea code that would provide predictability that is needed for the peace and stability of South China Sea.

I think that was a priority of the President because unless it becomes legally binding, we will not achieve the kind of predictability that all the countries want in order to achieve peace and stability in the region.

No More Force

[Image Credit: Dondi Tawatao/Reuters]
[Image Credit: Inquirer]
During the recently concluded ASEAN meeting, leaders of Southeast Asian countries and China agreed to start negotiations for a more effective code of conduct. Both the Philippines and China agreed to avoid using force to resolve the differences over the disputed sea.

After the Marawi Crisis, President Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping met, and President Duterte thanked him for China’s aid against the terrorists by donating firearms to the Philippine army.

First of all, let me thank you for your crucial help in our fight in Marawi a few weeks ago. We badly needed help, and it was China who first came to our aid,” Duterte told Xi during their bilateral meeting in Da Nang, Vietnam. For that, we are very, very thankful to you. As you say, we value your friendship more than anything else. And I said I gave you my word that we can be your true friends.

[Image Credit: Yahoo! Finance]
[Image Credit: PhilStar]
What do you think about this code of conduct? Do you think it will put a stop to the disputes between the Philippines and China?


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