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Wednesday, April 26, 2017 29° Mostly cloudy

Palace to watch Trump’s South China Sea position

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By Genalyn Kabiling

Malacañang has adopted a “wait-and see” approach to the incoming Trump administration’s position on the territorial dispute in the South China Sea.

Presidential communications secretary Martin Andanar made the remark after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state pushed for a ban of China in the artificial islands built in the disputed seas.

Photo credits: AFP (L) and The New York Times (R) | Manila Bulletin

Photo credits: AFP (L) and The New York Times (R) | Manila Bulletin

“The remarks of Mr. Rex Tillerson during his confirmation hearing before the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee reflect his personal beliefs and should be respected,” Andanar said. “The reasonable response is to wait and see what the new administration’s policy pronouncements will be.”

For now, the Duterte administration is committed to pursue a peaceful resolution to the territorial conflict with China.

“What is important is for both sides to remain committed to peace and stability in this part of the world and to refrain from any and all acts that would jeopardize freedom of navigation and overflights along this vital sea lane,” Andanar said.

Tillerson, former Exxon Mobil Corp chairman, said China should be denied access to islands it has built in the contested South China Sea. He said China’s land reclamation and military buildup were similar to ‘Russia’s taking Crimea’ from Ukraine.

“We’re going to have to send China a clear signal that, first, the island-building stops and, second, your access to those islands also is not going to be allowed,” he said.

President Duterte has tried to mend the country’s relations with China and agreed to start a bilateral dialogue to settle the territorial row. The two countries have also agreed to forge closer economic cooperation and investments despite the unresolved dispute in the South China Sea.

Read more: Trump’s secretary of state pick: China should be barred from South China Sea islands

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  • britbob

    The South China Sea – China is acting like it owns the whole of the South China Sea but all states are entitled to claim up to 200 miles EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zones) whereby they have title to all resources.
    The ICJ has already determined at an earlier tribunal that No delimitation between states with opposite or adjacent coasts may be affected unilaterally by one of those states. And , The delimitation of the exclusive economic zone between states with opposite or adjacent coasts shall be affected by agreement on the basis of international law.
    For that and some other interesting judgments on territorial seas (3 pages) and to gain an understanding as to how the world court deals with such disputes Google: ”Falklands – Territorial Waters Academia” Or use link:-
    https://www.academia.edu/10574593/Falklands_Islands_Territorial_Waters

  • victor arches

    Y0u Americans just try denying China access to the South China Sea, and you won’t live to regret it. Not only will you lose your shirt, your pants, and suffer “a bloody nose”, you will set the stage for a worldwide resistance to your insistent attempts at international hegemony.
    Already, you have given birth to Al Qaeda and now to ISIS. You have laid to waste most of the entire Middle East, and now, you want to replicate “your thing” here in Asia?!