The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang is hopeful that China will be "receptive" to the proposed Code of Conduct (CoC) that would govern territorial disputes in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
Foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have formed a consensus on several of the main elements of the CoC, which is envisioned to be a binding and enforceable document in the region.
"We hope they will be receptive to the idea as well. Hopefully it will be received well (by Beijing)," deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said on Wednesday.
"In the first instance, China has also been of the position that it should be settled peacefully. Everybody agreed on that," Valte added.
The Philippines has been pushing for an ASEAN centrality in crafting the CoC and the inclusion of a dispute settlement mechanism and the segregation of disputed and non-disputed areas following recent tensions with China over Recto Bank (Reed Bank) and Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal).
The ASEAN will soon start discussions with China now that the CoC has been firmed up at the ministerial level.
Valte said the CoC, would bolster the Philippines' position on conflicting territorial claims in the region once it is adopted and enforced by ASEAN leaders.
"We have been firm that our claim is supported under international law and that we intend to pursue our claim under a rules-based approach," she said.