“ASEAN should assert its leadership, centrality, and solidarity. ASEAN must show the world that it has the resolve to act in the common interest,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, today, told his counterparts from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Del Rosario is currently in Malaysia for the ASEAN Summit.
The Filipino top diplomat urged the regional political and economic group to have a voice against China’s aggressive behavior in disputed maritime territories.
“Is it not time for ASEAN to say to our northern neighbor that what it is doing is wrong and that the massive reclamations must be immediately stopped?” he said. “On this most important issue, is it not time for ASEAN to finally stand up for what is right?”
“We believe that if these massive reclamations are allowed to be completed, our northern neighbor will succeed in defining and imposing its unlawful sovereignty claim over more than 85 percent of the South China Sea,” the Filipino government official said.