facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Philippines call for ASEAN aid in dispute

April 18, 2012 at 1:39 AM   |   Comments

MANILA, Philippines, April 18 (UPI) -- The Philippine government has asked the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to help settle regional disputes over the Spratly Islands, officials said.

The call to action was prompted after tensions grew between the Philippines and China over Scarborough Shoal, a small atoll among the 750 islands that comprise the Spratlys in the West Philippine Sea, The Philippine Star reported Tuesday.

The dispute began when the Philippine navy boarded and inspected eight Chinese private fishing vessels at the island. China claims it owns the island, while the Philippines says the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea included the island in a 200-mile exclusive economic zone.

Filipino Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez, spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs, asked that ASEAN step in and help the two countries reach a settlement, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.

Citing the ASEAN Summit held this month in Cambodia, Hernandez said "we asked ASEAN to take the lead in resolving the West Philippine Sea issue and to bring the Spratlys claimants together towards a rules-based, multilateral and peaceful resolution of the issue."

The Philippines, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei are among the Spratlys' claimants.

"We also emphasized at the summit the centrality of ASEAN with respect to the drafting of the Code of Conduct for the South China Sea incorporating key elements to include a dispute settlement mechanism and an administrative structure to implement them," Hernandez told the Inquirer.

Hernandez stressed the dispute over Scarborough Shoal was "not the sum total of Philippines-China relations."

"We have deep and broad relations with China and we are committed to raise this to the next higher level," he said.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Most Popular
1
Source: Ferguson cop beaten before shooting
2
Boko Haram overruns Nigerian police academy
3
Brady Morton's body discovered three days after Port Huron Float Down
4
Alleged jihadist charged with killing 4 in Washington, N.J.
5
Former student pleads guilty to killing at Purdue University
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback