Malaysia wants South China Sea CoC to be finalised soon

The Philippine head of state said he told Xi his island nation meant to enforce an worldwide arbitration ruling and begin searching for oil in a part of the South China Sea that Beijing claims as its exclusive property.

Carpio made his remarks after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday, May 19, said Chinese President Xi Jinping warned that China will go to war if the Philippines "forces the issue" of the arbitral ruling on the South China Sea.

"His response to me, 'we're friends, we don't want to quarrel with you, we want to maintain the presence of warm relationship, but if you force the issue, we'll go to war".

Speaking to over a dozen journalists from the Philippine press, including ABS-CBN and GMA, Lin said Taiwan has always advocated that the South China Sea dispute should be solved peacefully, and that discussions or negotiations on the issue should not be conducted without Taiwan.

Duterte said Xi gave him the firm but friendly warning when the two met in Beijing on Monday.

Other senior officials present were Emaleen Abd Rahman Teo of Brunei Darussalam, Kah Pharidh of Cambodia, Jose Antonio Morato Tavares of Indonesia, Phongsavanh Sisoulath of Laos, Joji Samuel MC Samuel of Malaysia, U Myint Thu of Myanmar, Busaya Mathelin of Thailand, Nguyen Quoc Dzung of Vietnam, and Singapore's Chee Wee Kiong, who co-chaired the meeting.

Justice Carpio said the Philippines can also bring China's threat of war before the United Nations General Assembly "by sponsoring a resolution condemning China's threat of war against the Philippines and demanding that China comply with the ruling of the UNCLOS arbitral tribunal".

While military infrastructures development seems to be expanding in the South China Sea, the Philippines and China have agreed to regularly meet at least twice a year to discuss how to ease tensions in the South China Sea where the Hague court, last year, rejected China's vast claims in the South China Sea and said that those claims have no legal basis.

Former foreign secretary Albert del Rosario also weighed in on the issue, saying on Saturday: "Contrary to our position that right is might, China has strongly declared that it is might that will trump what is right".

Duterte then claimed that if it was exclusively up to him, he would go to war anyway, but China's military superiority would turn the conflict into "massacre and it will destroy everything".

Last year, the Philippines won the case against China in the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague.

Duterte produced his seemingly sensational comments while delivering a speech at the National Convention of the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary in Davao City. The two sides said they agreed to seek "mutually acceptable approaches" to settling disputes that divided them.

"The Philippines reaffirms its commitment to working towards an effective code of conduct for the South China Sea", Bolivar said. "Vietnam is also a virulent claimant, '" he said.

Liu said China hoped there would be some joint development in gas and oil before maritime disputes are ultimately solved.

The next round of talks will be held in Manila later this year, it added.

  • Leroy Wright