The Straits Times
Published on Sep 04, 2012

Philippines hails Clinton remarks on South China Sea


MANILA (AFP) - Philippine officials praised United States (US) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's call for a peaceful resolution of territorial disputes in the South China Sea, saying on Tuesday she had bolstered Manila's stance.

Defence Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said Mrs Clinton's backing for a peaceful resolution of the disputes and the passage of a "code of conduct" were objectives the Philippines had also been seeking.

MrsClinton, on a stop in Indonesia on Monday en route to China, warned against any coercion in the conflict-riven South China Sea and urged progress on a code of conduct to manage the overlapping disputes there.

"We have long been trying to finalise (the code). This code of conduct will minimise any confrontation in the area," Mr Gazmin told reporters Tuesday. "That is what we have been seeking. We need to speak in one voice. If we are united we can deal with a major country and we can pursue a united solution within Asean and third-party countries."