PHL with World economies hopeful ASEAN will adopt South China Sea segregation proposal

The Philippine government expressed hope that leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting in Bali November 17-19, 2011 will adopt its proposal to segregate the disputed areas in the South China Sea.

The proposal will demilitarize the region and put an end to the continuing intrusions of China, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said in a statement.

President Benigno Aquino III will meet his ASEAN counterparts, as well as leaders of ASEAN dialogue partners Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russia, the United States, and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon at the 19th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits in Bali, Indonesia from Nov. 17 to 19.

Sixth East Asia Summit would be attended by the Following Leaders:

  1. US President Barack Obama
  2. Philippines President Benigno Aquino III
  3. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda
  4. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard
  5. New Zealand Prime Minister John Key
  6. South Korean President Lee Myung Bak
  7. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
  8. Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
  9. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev
  10. Brunei Prime Minister Hassanal Bolkiah
  11. Vietnam Prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung
  12. Thailand Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra
  13. China Premier Wen Jiabao
  14. Indonesian President Susilo bambang Yudhoyono
  15. Laos Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong
  16. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen
  17. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak
  18. Myanmar President Thein Sein

The region needs a more concrete, binding agreement to address the South China Sea disputes although the Guidelines on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea set to be adopted in the upcoming ASEAN Summit will ensure maritime security.

Zone of peace in the Spratlys

The Philippines, at the 18th ASEAN Summit, proposed to establish a Zone of Peace, Freedom, Friendship, and Cooperation (ZoPFF/C) that seeks to segregate the disputed South China Sea islands from the undisputed parts to put an end to military intrusions in the region.

Del Rosario said the Philippines welcomes the finalization of the Guidelines of Implementation of the Code of Conduct of the Parties as well as a peaceful solution to regional disputes.

"The Philippines believes ZoPFF/C is the next step after the Guidelines and contributes to efforts in achieving peace and prosperity in the region," Del Rosario said.

Meanwhile, Del Rosario said that in pushing for the ASEAN connectivity, the Philippines will seek their neighbors' support for its initiative included in the 15 flagship programs in the ASEAN Connectivity Master Plan.

The Philippines, in particular, is pushing for the creation of a nautical highway through the roll-on, roll-off concept in addition to road connectivity to complete the region's missing links.

"The Philippines looks forward to working with ASEAN's dialogue partners on connectivity initiatives, especially on the feasibility study on the ASEAN Roll-On/Roll-Off Network and Short-Sea Shipping," — Del Rosario said.

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