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WASHINGTON D.C. -- President Benigno S. Aquino III on Friday said that it is not the intention of his government to embroil the United States in military intervention in the Asia Pacific Region particularly the ongoing tension in the West Philippine Sea as he acknowledged that countries in the region will benefit from the stability brought about by the US presence in the area.
"We recognize that our two nations, with so many other nations, will all share in the peace and prosperity that comes from the U.S. adding its voice to supporting and guaranteeing a rules-based international system," the Chief Executive said in his speech during the formal launching of the United States-Philippines Society at the Mandarin Oriental hotel here.
The President emphasized that many nations in the region welcome the United States' re-balancing plan, which, he said, would strategically position about 60 percent of U.S. forces in the Asia Pacific Region by 2020.
He also bared the country's commitment to defusing the tension in the Scarborough Shoal which is locally referred to as Bajo de Masinloc, which both the People's Republic of China and the Philippines are claiming as integral part of their territory.
"Right now we are engaged in bilateral dialogue to find a mutually beneficial way to break the impasse; and we fully intend to come up with a solution that will maintain peace and stability in the region, while at the same time upholding the dignity and sovereign rights of our people," the President said.
According to the President, his administration has been firm in asserting its rights over the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone as he expressed the belief that it is important for the People's Republic of China to adhere to the ASEAN Declaration of Conduct on the South China Sea.
In this connection, President Aquino noted that he is optimistic that the dialogue between the two countries will progress favorably.
The President likewise stressed that his nomination of a very competent and well-respected career diplomat as the country's Ambassador to China "will open up new dialogues on this sensitive issue."
"We have also supported efforts to draft a new code of conduct in disputed areas in the West Philippine Sea; and we are also continuing to use regional mechanisms like the ASEAN Regional Forum and the East Asia Summit to build an environment conducive to the peaceful settlement of disputes.
The West Philippine Sea dispute is expected to be one of the issues President Aquino will take up with United States President Barack Obama during their meeting at the Oval Office in the White House.