Locsin maintained that China and the 10 member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have successfully negotiated the first draft of a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.
DFA/Released
Locsin: Sea code no guarantee vs intrusion
Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) - September 6, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea has not stopped intrusions in Philippine waters although no transgression had gone unchallenged, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. told lawmakers on Tuesday.

He said the Philippines is actively pursuing full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea in preparation for a Code of Conduct (COC) for states with claims in the South China Sea.

“That of course has not stopped provocations in its waters. But no transgression goes unanswered; no hint of usurpation goes unchallenged,” Locsin said in a statement at the House hearing on the proposed 2020 budget of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

He said President Duterte’s initiatives – including his visits to Beijing – have helped create a more congenial environment for managing issues in the West Philippine Sea.

Locsin maintained that China and the 10 member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have successfully negotiated the first draft of a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.

He expressed belief Western countries are not interested in the COC. During his recent visit to Beijing, Duterte said the United States should stay out of the talks even if the crafting of a COC is taking time.

“Our view, however, is that the West is not interested in the COC,” Locsin said.

In July, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced that China and ASEAN might be able to finalize a COC ahead of schedule in 2021. – With Pia Lee-Brago

TEODORO LOCSIN JR
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