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PH welcomes G7’s clear support vs. China’s maneuvers in disputed waters

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The Philippines on Sunday lauded the statement issued by the Group of Seven (G7) in calling out China’s aggression in the disputed West Philippine Sea or the South China Sea.

The G7 maintained its commitment and adherence to international laws, including the United Nations convention that was the basis for 2016 arbitral ruling rendered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in favor of the Philippines.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the Philippines “appreciates” the support of the world’s leading industrialized nations, excluding China and Russia.

“The Philippines welcomes the G7 Foreign Ministers’ reiteration of their collective commitment to the rule of law and to the rules-based maritime order anchored on the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS),” the DFA statement stated.

Stressing its commitment to the UNCLOS and the Arbitral Award, the Philippines emphasized how “respect for international law, particularly for the recognized maritime entitlements of coastal states in the South China Sea and the freedom of navigation enjoyed by the international community, is essential to ensuring global prosperity, peace and stability.”

It said these values benefit the Indo-Pacific region and the rest of the world.

“As such, we appreciate the G7’s support in rejecting China’s baseless and expansive claims, and their call for China to cease its illegal activities, particularly its use of coast guard and maritime militia in the South China Sea that engage in dangerous maneuvers and the use of water cannons against Philippine vessels,” the statement said.

“We duly note and appreciate the G7’s reaffirmation that the 2016 Arbitral Award is a significant milestone and a useful basis for the peaceful management and resolution of differences at sea,” it added.

The statement came after G7 released a joint statement on Friday during the annual meeting of their foreign ministers last week to call out China’s “militarization, coercive and intimidation activities” in the South China Sea.”

“We continue to oppose China’s dangerous use of coast guard and maritime militia in the South China Sea and its repeated obstruction of countries’ high seas freedom of navigation, and we express serious concern about the increasing use of dangerous maneuvers and water cannons against Philippine vessels in this regard,” the G7 said.

The DFA stressed that the Philippines is also behind the G7’s vision of a stable and secure Indo-Pacific region, reiterating that it “stands firm against any actions that undermine international security and stability.”

“We want to see a South China Sea of peace, stability and prosperity, and the cessation of interference, obstruction and harassment of the Philippines’ legal activities within our recognized maritime entitlements,” the DFA statement said.

The G7 is an informal bloc of industrialized democracies established in 1975 consisting of the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

The Philippines also recognized the G7’s plan of achieving “sustainable and inclusive economic development,” which was detailed in the “Statement on Addressing Global Challenges, Fostering Partnership” issued last Friday.

“The Philippines is keen to see an inclusive and economically dynamic Indo-Pacific that benefits the region’s peoples,” the statement read, expressing support also for the G7’s economic initiatives—investments within the framework of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment and emphasizing the strategic importance of the Luzon Economic Corridor.

“We stand ready to cooperate with the G7 in its efforts to support economic growth in the Philippines and the Indo-Pacific,” it added.

Amid the “various global challenges identified by the G7 statement,” the Philippines said it is ready to contribute positively to the “collective efforts of the international community to address them.”


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