Philippines reaffirms support for rules-based approaches to East Sea issue hinh anh 1The Phillipines’ Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo. (Photo:

Hanoi (VNA) – The Phillipines’ Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo has reiterated the country's firm resolve to address the East Sea (also  known as West Philippine Sea or South China Sea) issue through peaceful and legal means.

Speaking at the 59th Munich Security Conference (MSC) held from February 17 to 19 in Munich, Germany, the secretary said that rival claims can only be solved peacefully by adhering to peaceful and rules-based approaches, the Philippine Star reported on February 20.

The Philippine approach, articulated long before and formalized in the 1982 Manila Declaration on the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes, enjoys the support of the international community.

He said that tensions caused by incidents and aggressive actions inconsistent with the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) are not conducive to promoting peace and stability.

He called for the preservation and strengthening of multilateralism and a rules-based order amid the difficulties posed by post-pandemic recovery, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and escalating strategic rivalry between the US and China.

According to Manalo, the UN could initiate an extensive debate regarding “rule and order applicable in the maritime domain and the South China Sea” to help raise awareness of the importance of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as well as maintaining a rules-based order so that any dispute or conflict is resolved through the rule of law and peaceful means instead of forcible measures and aggressive actions./.