Philippines foreign minister Perfecto Yasay calls for South China Sea restraint at Asem

Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay (left) is greeted by Mongolia's President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj upon arrival for the opening of the 11th ASEM Summit in the Mongolian capital of Ulan Bator on July 15. PHOTO: AFP

ULAANBATAAR (REUTERS, AFP) - The Philippines strongly affirms its respect for the arbitration court's ruling on the South China Sea and calls on all parties to exercise restraint, Foreign Minister Perfecto Yasay said on Friday (July 15) at the Asia-Europe Meeting in Mongolia.

The Philippines is committed to a peaceful resolution and will continue to engage concerned parties to reduce regional tensions, Mr Yasay told the regional summit, according to a transcript of his remarks provided to Reuters.

The gathering of Asian and European leaders is the first major international conference since the UN-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague ruled that Beijing's claims to much of the strategically vital South China Sea have no legal foundation in a case filed by the Philippines.

China, which boycotted the hearings, says the tribunal has no jurisdiction, and has poured scorn on the verdict. It says the subject should not be brought up at Asem.

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