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Marcos seeks ASEAN support over "hegemonic ambition" in South China Sea
Marcos seeks ASEAN support over "hegemonic ambition" in South China Sea
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Marcos seeks ASEAN support over "hegemonic ambition" in South China Sea
by Christhel Cuazon06 September 2023
Photo courtesy: Presidential Communications Office (PCO)

President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. on Tuesday urged the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to not allow the international order to be subjected to the forces of might or "hegemonic ambition" with regard to the issue of the South China Sea.

Marcos reiterated the Philippines’ commitment to the peaceful resolution of disputes in his intervention during the 43rd ASEAN Summit Retreat.

“History will ultimately judge whether the supremacy of the rule of law prevails, ushering in an era where all nations truly stand as equals, independent and unswayed by any single power," the President said.

“The challenge for us remains: that we should never allow the international order to be subjected to the forces of might applied for a hegemonic ambition,” he added.

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Despite not directly naming China in his speech, Marcos called out nations that were peddling “misleading narratives“ in the South China Sea.

"The Philippines firmly rejects misleading narratives that frame the disputes in the South China Sea solely through the lens of strategic competition between two powerful countries," he continued.

"This not only denies us of our independence and agency, but also disregards our own legitimate interests," he added.

Marcos called for self-restraint on activities that complicate disputes in the region and undermine regional peace, stability, and security, underscoring that actions, not words, should be the ultimate measure of their commitment to securing peace and stability.

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“We therefore seek your support for the operationalization of practical measures such as the ADMM Guidelines for Maritime Interaction, which we envision will be expanded to our external partners in due time,” he pointed out.

“The Philippines is also pleased to have hosted the 2nd ASEAN Multilateral Naval Exercise (AMNEX) off Zambales and Bataan, and the 40th Meeting of the JWG-DOC2 in Manila to expedite the negotiations for a substantive and effective Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea.”

He also emphasized the need for all parties involved to leverage the ASEAN regional architecture to serve as a diplomatic bridge that promotes mutual understanding, strategic trust, and peaceful settlement of disputes.

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