West Philippine Sea: PHL proposes rules-based regime

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario met with the Ambassadors of ASEAN member-states based in Manila and briefed them on Philippine perspectives on recent developments in the West Philippine Sea (formerly South China Sea), the DFA posted.

In the meeting, Secretary del Rosario unveiled the country's proposal for a rules-based regime in the area, stating that transforming it into a Zone of Peace, Freedom, Friendship, and Cooperation (ZoPFF/C) provides the key to addressing the claims and in pushing for a peaceful settlement of disputes.

Secretary del Rosario, the DFA said, has urged the ASEAN to take a united stand and seek common approaches in addressing challenges.

Aside from the Philippines, China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei and Malaysia are the claimants of the Spratly Islands.

Tensions between China and other claimants to the Spratlys escalated following a word war.

China through its foreign ministry early last week assured claimant-countries including the Philippines that it will not resort to the use of force to settle the dispute in the West Philippine Sea.

Photo from DFA