Philippines urged to work with Vietnam regarding South China Sea COC

Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario is urging the Philippine government to work with Vietnam in crafting the South China Sea (SCS) Code of Conduct (COC). The former top diplomat said that Philippines and other ASEAN countries should support Vietnam’s stance regarding the COC.

“We will need to exercise utmost vigilance in ensuring that the COC is not utilized by Beijing for the purpose of protecting what has been declared as being unlawful by the arbitral tribunal, which is now an integral part of international law,” del Rosario said in a statement.

“Clearly, it would be a constructive move to consult with Vietnam to give us an opportunity to share and appreciate each other’s views, which could lead to an agreed plan of action that is beneficial not only to both countries but to others as well,” he said.

Among Vietnam’s positions regarding the COC are: banning any new Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ); clarifying maritime entitlements in accordance with international law; blocking of a proposal by China to ban military drills in the SCS with other states unless all signatories agree, and the blocking of China’s proposal to exclude foreign oil firms by limiting joint development deals to China and Southeast Asia.