ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
South China Sea tackled in ASEAN defense ministers meet
May 26 2016
Regional security, including the South China Sea disputes, was tackled by defense ministers on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ( ASEAN ) Defense Ministers Meeting in Laos this week.
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin emphasized the need to have actions of states guided by and in accordance with international law, saying the Philippines’ decision to seek arbitration on the maritime dispute with China was a clear manifestation of having international law being the anchor of a state’s actions, the Philippine defense department said in a news release on Thursday.
The defense chief also said actions of states should be consistent with their policy pronouncements of promoting regional peace and stability.
In 2013, the Philippines initiated an arbitration case questioning China’s excessive claims in the disputed South China Sea, challenging the latter’s nine-dash claims over the disputed waters.
China, however, refused to participate in the proceedings and reiterated that it would not abide by the court’s decision.
A ruling on the dispute is expected to come out next month.
In the same meeting, Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquang was quoted as saying that China and the ASEAN had a “shared destiny.”
Chang also suggested military exercises among ASEAN members and China’s armed forces in the South China Sea.
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