MANILA: The Philippines said it
had won support from Vietnam, Indonesia and Brunei for a plan to ease tensions in the South China Sea which it intends to present at a regional meeting this week.
China and several of its South-East Asian neighbours are embroiled in increasingly bitter territorial disputes over the strategic sea, which Beijing claims almost in its entirety.
Manila’s plan calls for an immediate moratorium on activities which escalate tensions and implementation of a code of conduct in the sea, which is home to vital shipping routes and is believed to sit atop vast oil and gas deposits.
The plan, to be presented to an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) meeting in Myanmar this week, was raised during Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario’s recent visits to Brunei, Vietnam and Indonesia, department spokesman Charles Jose said.
“He has taken trips (to these countries) precisely to raise the triple action plan and so far, all of these countries have expressed support for the initiative,” Jose told reporters.
He said del Rosario and other Filipino delegates would try to raise the initiative at the various Asean discussions.
Asean includes the Philippines as well as Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. — AFP