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Czech Republic backs PH on issues at South China Sea
Czech Republic backs PH on issues at South China Sea
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Czech Republic backs PH on issues at South China Sea
by Christhel Cuazon15 March 2024
Photo courtesy: Presidential Communications Office

President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. on Thursday secured the support of the Czech Republic on the South China Sea issue in a bid to ensure freedom of navigation in the disputed waters.

During a joint press conference with Marcos in Prague, Czech President Petr Pavel said that even if the South China Sea may be far from their country, monitoring the developments in the ongoing territorial dispute is important.

"I believe both countries have a lot to offer and there is a lot of space or room for cooperation. As to South China Sea we fully support the Philippines when it comes to their entitlement to free movement of goods and also very intense support because that’s a principle that, not only we all respect but, which also secures global and regional stability," Pavel said.

"And to us South China Sea may seem to be far, far away, but if you take into account the percentage of share of world or global trade passes through this area, any disruption of these routes would have an adverse impact on Europe, not only in the form of shortage of goods but also soaring prices, which is why we have to pay attention to this topic," he continued.

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Pavel said the Philippines and his country could cooperate further in various areas such as defense, cybersecurity, and the use and development of high-tech or modern technologies.

As part of his four-day state visit, Marcos met with Pavel for bilateral talks on Thursday morning at the Prague Castle.

The President said his discussions with Czech officials as far as the Philippines is concerned to redound to the maintenance of peace in the South China Sea.

Marcos emphasized that both countries share the same values when it comes to adherence to international law.

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“It is an issue that is not only important for those around the region, the Indo-Pacific region, the ASEAN, for the members states of ASEAN that surround the South China Sea,” he said.

“Also, because this is a safe navigation and passage of the South China Sea is important to international trade, as goes to 60 percent of international trade goes to that channel and we hope to continue these discussions,” President Marcos stated.

The Philippine position is to maintain the peace and to continue to defend the sovereignty and sovereign rights of the country when it comes to these international differences, President Marcos said.

And amid the ongoing modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), which will involve a lot of necessary procurements, “the Czech Republic has always been an important part of that development, of that evolution,” he stressed.

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“We are hoping that that will continue, not only at its present level but at the higher level,” Marcos stressed.

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