Philippines pushes sea row at summit

The Philippines on Monday pushed its call for an international solution to overlapping claims in the South China Sea at an Asia-Europe summit, saying vital global shipping lanes were at stake.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino raised the issue in bilateral meetings with leaders of the European Union as well as with Swiss President Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf and Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg in Laos.

“We noted the increasing importance of maritime security” in what Manila calls the West Philippine Sea, said Aquino’s chief spokesman Herminio Coloma.

“There was agreement that it was a matter of international interest considering that a significant amount of world trade passes through that body of water,” he told reporters in the Laotian capital Vientiane.

“Switzerland and the EU and to some extent Norway indicated their firm support to the Philippines in terms of our position that conflicts and disputes in that area are to be resolved peacefully and following international law.”

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Article courtesy of South China Morning Post.

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