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3 ASEAN members support moratorium in South China Sea - DFA

Louis Bacani (The Philippine Star) - August 5, 2014 - 10:29am

MANILA, Philippines - China may have rejected the Philippines' proposal to halt construction activities in the South China Sea, but at least three neighboring countries have expressed support to the initiative.

Foreign Affairs spokesperson Charles Jose said the Philippines will still pursue its proposed moratorium on provocative and destabilizing actions in the disputed waters in the upcoming ministerial meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Myanmar.

"We believe this proposal is a constructive one. It is positive and we offer solution to the problem in the South China Sea," Jose said in a phone-patch interview on Mornings@ANC on Tuesday,

Jose said even before the Philippines' proposal was made public, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario has obtained the support of three ASEAN members.

These are Vietnam and Brunei, two claimant countries of the South China Sea, and Indonesia, a significant player in the region.

"When he visited these countries and talked with them, they expressed support. They considered our proposal being positive and constructive," Jose said.

The official also hopes that other nations involved in the South China Sea disputes will look at the Philippines' proposal in the same way.

"We hope claimant countries and the international community will favorably and positively consider our proposal," Jose said.

The Philippines and China are locked in a long-standing territorial dispute, with the Asian giant claiming virtually the entire contested waters.

Philippine officials have reported Chinese land reclamation in some disputed reefs.

Earlier this year, China placed an oil rig in waters near Vietnam, sparking sea confrontations between Chinese and Vietnamese vessels.

ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS CHARLES JOSE CHINA CHINESE AND VIETNAMESE FOREIGN AFFAIRS FOREIGN AFFAIRS SECRETARY ALBERT DEL ROSARIO MYANMAR PHILIPPINES AND CHINA PROPOSAL SOUTH CHINA SEA VIETNAM AND BRUNEI
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