President Benigno Aquino III claimed that the Philippines has no plans to engage in warfare over the sea dispute saying that the “whole world stands to lose” if the territorial problems worsen.
At the Publish Asia conference held at the Manila Hotel on Mar. 30, Pres. Aquino finally addressed the problem on the disputed waters on West Philippine Sea. Various reports claimed that China, which is one of the countries assuming ownership of the islands, put up a military base and posed threat to other countries surrounding it.
Emphasizing their military presence in the Southeast hinted that the country is ready to defend its claim on the territorial waters insisting on its so-called nine-dash line.
“All claimant countries in the South China Sea recognize – and other countries that are adjacent to the sea that are not claimant countries – all realized that war is a futile exercise. Nobody stands to gain and, in fact, the whole world stands to lose if it does amount to war,” Pres. Aquino said according to GMA News.
“We have no illusions of ever trying to march – trying to engage anybody in an arms race or in a military buildup. We would rather devote our resources to the classical economic argument that the butter side rather than the gun side of choosing where to put our resources in,” the President added.
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Pres. Aquino stressed that he hopes to resolve this issue in a peaceful and diplomatic way. He said that instability and conflict will not benefit anyone.
Currently, the Philippines seeks arbitration in The Hague and urges Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to persuade Beijing to sign and abide in the binding code of conduct in the region.
Aside from China and the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Taiwan are the countries claiming possession of the territorial waters.