MAGDALO REP. Gary C. Alejano warned that China might not adhere to the air encounter code agreed upon by members of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations).
“China, one of the ASEAN partners, does not even honor the existing international guidelines and rulings,” the party-list lawmaker said in a statement, Saturday.
“While we can expect ASEAN states to abide, it might be a different story for China,” he also said.
ASEAN Defense ministers in Singapore signed on Friday a joint declaration to strengthen cooperation and secure peace in the region, particularly in navigating the South China Sea.
Mr. Alejano also cited a maritime agreement that did not keep China from increasing its military presence in the South China Sea.
“Just last year, ASEAN with its international partners such as China adopted a similar code relating to sea encounters. Despite this, China’s aggression in our waters continued,” he said.
“The old and existing guidelines proved insufficient to contain tensions in the West Philippine Sea with China constantly challenging the rules and norms. We need an agreement that would specifically address cases of aggression especially amid territorial disputes,” he added. — Charmaine A. Tadalan