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PNoy: Nations must cooperate, not impose on others

Louis Bacani - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - As the country remains locked in a territorial dispute with China, President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday called for unity among nations to solve global issues. 

Speaking at the 2014 Independence Day Vin D’Honneur attended by foreign diplomats, Aquino said that being a sovereign nation also means being part of the larger international community.

"A solely inward-looking approach to governance is doomed to fail; any responsible country knows that it must also work alongside its brother nations to address the world’s problems," Aquino said in his toast.

The President added that while nations are beset with their own internal problems, they should also consider the problems of the global community.

"None of us can realize our goals in isolation. As such, a fine balance must be struck to avoid interfering in others’ affairs. This can be achieved by rendering genuine and meaningful assistance, rather than by imposing our own views and policies on others—this can be achieved through sincere cooperation," Aquino said.

"Indeed: the world is united by more than just the interconnectivity afforded by technology; we are united by a commonality of purpose: how to overcome inequality, injustice, and conflict, and thus foster lasting progress, peace, and stability in an environment that truly upholds the rule of law," Aquino added.

The President told the foreign diplomats that the Philippines and their respective nations should maximize cooperation and avenues for dialogue.

"Together, we have the best chance of eliminating our common problems. Divided, we may have no chance at all," he said.

Aquino made these statements amid the increasing tensions in the South China Sea. He recently accused China of violating an informal code of conduct in the disputed waters with the reported reclamation activities of the Asian giant on some of the contested territories.

The Philippines has urged China to be a responsible nation by upholding the rule of law and join the arbitration proceedings in an international tribunal.

But China, which has been imposing its "indisputable sovereignty" over the entire South China Sea,  insists that it will not cooperate.

Some countries including the United States have expressed concern over China's perceived aggression and "destabilizing" actions, which some observers fear may put the country into isolation.

AQUINO BUT CHINA CHINA HONNEUR INDEPENDENCE DAY VIN D NATIONS PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO SOUTH CHINA SEA UNITED STATES
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