Aquino to China: Respect rule of law
Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - November 22, 2015 - 8:32pm

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III on Sunday called on China to respect the rule of law following its extensive claims over the South China Sea.

The Philippines recently filed an arbitration case against China before the Permanent Court of Arbitration under the United Nations in connection to the sea dispute.

The tribunal sided with the Philippines in the initial round of the case and issued its award on jurisdiction.

READ: Tribunal sides with Philippines in initial round vs China

"As the arbitration process we have entered into continues to its logical conclusion, we are hopeful that China would honor its word and respect the rule of law. The world is watching and expects no less from a responsible global leader," Aquino said during his intervention at the 10th East Asia Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Aquino noted that the recent ruling of the tribunal is not only welcome news to the Philippines but also for all nations seeking a resolution to maritime disputes.

The president added that many countries have expressed concerns that China's massive land reclamation activities over the disputed sea threaten freedom of navigation and unimpeded lawful commerce.

"It is regrettable that China continues to massively reclaim and build structures in the sea known by many names, in total disregard of international law as well as the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC)," Aquino said.

The president expressed his hope that the conclusion of the arbitration case between the Philippines and China will result to the full and effective implementation of the DOC and the conclusion of a Code of Conduct.

Aquino also expressed appreciation for the support of the international community for a peaceful resolution of the disputes.

The president, along with leaders at the East Asia Summit, adopted the Declaration on Enhancing Maritime Cooperation which promoted peace, stability and security in the region. The declaration also encourages more countries to accede to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

RELATED: East Asia Summit to promote ‘rules-based’ order

AQUINO CHINA CODE OF CONDUCT CONDUCT OF PARTIES EAST ASIA SUMMIT ENHANCING MARITIME COOPERATION KUALA LUMPUR LAW OF THE SEA PHILIPPINES QUOT SOUTH CHINA SEA
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