Marcos calls for maximum restraint over Taiwan tensions, Ukraine conflict

Alexis Romero - Philstar.com
Marcos calls for maximum restraint over Taiwan tensions, Ukraine conflict
In this file photo taken on Aug. 4, 2022 Chinese military helicopters fly past Pingtan island, one of mainland China's closest point from Taiwan, in Fujian province ahead of massive military drills off Taiwan following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to the self-ruled island. The United States on September 2, 2022 announced a new $1.1 billion package of arms to Taiwan, vowing to keep boosting the island's defenses as tensions soar with Beijing. The sale comes a month after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defiantly visited the self-governing democracy, prompting mainland China to launch a show of force that could be a trial run for a future invasion.
AFP / Hector Retamal

NEW YORK, United States — Days after seeking support for the Philippines' bid for a non-permanent seat to the United Nations (UN) Security Council, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. urged parties in the Taiwan Strait tensions and the Ukraine conflict to resolve their issues peacefully and expressed readiness to help push for a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.

Marcos said the visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan sort of highlighted the simmering tensions that were beneath the surface but now have surfaced out into the open.

"We are certainly concerned about rising tensions in the Taiwan Strait, just north of the Philippines. We urge all parties involved to exercise maximum restraint," Marcos said during a forum organized by the Asia Society last Friday here.

"Dialogue and diplomacy must prevail. We adhere to the One China Policy and have consistently called for the peaceful resolution of the issues involving Taiwan," he added.

China has condemned Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, describing it as a “serious provocation” and a violation of the one-China principle. It has also accused the US of interfering in China's internal affairs.

With regard to the war between Ukraine and Russia, Marcos said the conflict made improving the production of agricultural products "terribly difficult."
"It is a constant surprise to all of us that we are having to learn to live with (the fact that) a conflict in eastern Europe should affect the Philippines at such a profound and basic level as agriculture," Marcos said.

"With the prices of fertilizer going up, with the prices of agricultural commodities going up, with the uncertainties of supply, and so we now have to go to what we described as non-traditional sources and we have to diversify," he added.

Marcos noted that the Philippines has voted in favor of the three UN General Assembly Resolutions on Ukraine.  

"On Russia and Ukraine — the Philippines urges all parties to continue adopting peaceful means to maintain international peace and security," the president said.

The Philippines is among the 141 countries that supported a resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine during an emergency session of the UNGA. It also joined 92 other countries in backing a resolution that suspended Russia from the UN Human Rights Council last April.

In the same speech, Marcos expressed concern over North Korea's threat to use nuclear weapons in possible conflicts against South Korea and the US.

"The difference between right now anyway -- between the conflicts or the disagreements between China and the rest of the countries around the area, and Korea, is Korea has threatened to use nuclear weapons. And that would be a complete disaster. And there is no way that the Philippines will be somehow exempt from that sort of conflict," the president said.

"And it’s very worrisome because if there is a possibility that nuclear weapons suddenly become... part of that equation, then we will see the normalization of nuclear weapons... And perhaps that will encourage other nuclear powers to exercise that nuclear option which as we all know is going to be really end-of-world scenario," he added.

Marcos said nations should abandon the idea of nuclear weapons as deterrence and should work towards bringing down the stockpiles of nuclear weapons in the world, a task that he admitted is easier said than done.

"We understand that peace and stability in the Asia Pacific region are also linked to the situation in the Korean Peninsula. And we are ready to play a constructive role in advancing a peaceful and denuclearized Korean Peninsula through confidence-building measures among the various stakeholders," he added.

Marcos said the Philippines’ candidature for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council for the term of 2027 to 2028 is premised on the country’s long years of experience in building peace and forging new paths of cooperation.

The president urged UN member-states to support the Philippines' bid for a UN Security Council seat in an address delivered before the 77th UNGA.

The UN Security Council, which maintains international peace and security, has five permanent members, namely China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the US and ten non-permanent members elected for two-year terms by the UNGA. The present non-permanent members of the council are Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana, India, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico, Norway, and the United Arab Emirates.

The Philippines served as a non-permanent member of the council in 1957, in 1963, from 1980 to 1981, and from 2004 to 2005.




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