BBM: U.S. standing by Phl

DAVOS, Switzerland — President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Wednesday said the US has committed to coming to the rescue of the Philippines in the event of a potential flashpoint on the issues in the West Philippine Sea. “Yes, they (Americans) have already made the commitment. As a matter of fact, when there are certain reports that come in, some of the American ships come

DAVOS, Switzerland — President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Wednesday said the US has committed to coming to the rescue of the Philippines in the event of a potential flashpoint on the issues in the West Philippine Sea.

“Yes, they (Americans) have already made the commitment. As a matter of fact, when there are certain reports that come in, some of the American ships come down and make their presence felt. So we’re hoping to maintain it at that level,” Marcos said.

Still, the President said that as stakeholders, Asia-Pacific countries should always work for peace as “we really have a great deal of work to do in recovering our economies.”

Breaking the “impasse” between the Philippines and China in the West Philippine Sea poses a challenge to both countries and the international community, Marcos Jr. told Bloomberg here.

“That’s a difficult thing to have to do because the impasse, really, has occurred in the application of the law. Both sides say that this area belongs — we say it is the maritime territory of the Philippines and, of course, China says the same,” Marcos said in an interview.

While the Philippines and China already have a bilateral group working on issues in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea, the President still pushed for a “line of communication that is higher up.”
Marcos, however, said the Philippines and China may come to an agreement on a limited exploration with a lot of “give-and-take” between them.

He was adamant, though, that the Philippines will not relinquish its rights to territories that belong to it, but always in consideration of peaceful ways to resolve geopolitical and territorial irritants.

In past months, the Chinese and Philippine coast guards, along with fishermen from both countries, have had run-ins with one another, including incidents related to the retrieval of rocket fragments from China’s space launches.

“That’s the red line. That is something that will not move. It’s something that we cannot cross because it’s a very slippery road from there,” Marcos said.

“That’s why when I met with President Xi (Jinping), both at APEC and during the state visit I just made to the People’s Republic, I said we have to find a system so that these sorts of things will not happen,” he told Bloomberg, the financial outlook service provider.

Mr. Marcos said he looks at the “incidents” as an indication of poor communication between the two sides.

While the Philippines and China already have a bilateral group working on issues in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea, the President still pushed for a “line of communication that is higher up.”

China this week said it was still hopeful of forging a joint exploration contract with the Philippines after the Supreme Court struck down an earlier deal made by companies from the Philippines, China and Vietnam.

The three countries have conflicting claims to waters off their landmass facing one another, with China claiming nearly all of the South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea.


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