Philippine Defence Minister Delfin Lorenzana (Source: Internet)
Hanoi (VNA) – Philippine Defence Minister Delfin Lorenzana said on January 23 that his country wants to preserve unity and establish a mechanism to resolve disputes in the East Sea.

Speaking to delegates from more than 20 countries at a security conference in Singapore, the minister reaffirmed the unity and solidarity of ASEAN amidst the emerging super-power competition.

He also called on countries outside to not use ASEAN as a proxy for their rivalry.

Regarding the East Sea issue, Minister Lorenzana said ASEAN is finalising a code of conduct (COC) in the hope of making sure all claimants follow legal and diplomatic processes in settling territorial disputes.

COC is expected to create a framework for long-term solutions to disputes in the waters, he said.

The Philippines is rotating chairman of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and will host its annual meetings this year.-VNA