Department of Foreign Affairs urged to coordinate with Vietman over disputed South China Sea

AN opposition solon urged the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to work with Vietnam in negotiating a Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea.

Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano agreed with the proposal of former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario for the Philippines to discuss the issue with the Vietnamese government.

“Vietnam has taken a strong stance against pro-China provisions in the proposed COC. The Philippines must support Vietnam on this to block the attempts of China to gain complete control of entire South China Sea,” Alejano said.

Del Rosario has recently called on the DFA to block the pro-China provisions in the proposed COC in the South China Sea.

Specifically, Del Rosario urged the DFA to take the same position of Vietnam on banning any new air defense identification zone, clarifying maritime entitlements in accordance with international law, blocking of a proposal by China to ban military drills in the South China Sea with countries outside the region unless all signatories agree, and blocking China’s proposal to exclude foreign oil firms by limiting joint development deals to China and Southeast Asia.

Alejano has previously expressed admiration on the position and actions of Vietnam regarding China’s expansionist policy.

“Vietnam has been vocal in condemning China’s militarization of the South China Sea. And while it has maintained good economic relations with China, it has not foregone its territorial claims in the South China Sea and compromised its sovereignty – a few things the Duterte administration should take note off,” Alejano stressed.

The former Marine officer enjoined the Philippines and the rest of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to ensure that the COC serve its main purpose of ensuring peace and stability in the region according to international law.