MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – Philippine International Minister Enrique Manalo on Monday urged regional neighbors to unite extra strongly to defend the rule of regulation within the South China Sea, the place China is vigorously pursuing claims territories in battle with different nations.

Manalo was talking at a discussion board on maritime cooperation on the sidelines of a summit of Southeast Asian leaders within the Australian metropolis of Melbourne, the place China's more and more assertive strikes are excessive on the agenda. .

Manalo was referring to the Philippines' victory over China in a 2016 arbitration ruling in The Hague, Netherlands, which invalidated Beijing's huge territorial claims within the South China Sea. China didn’t settle for the choice.

Manalo mentioned the Philippines pursued the case to uphold the rule of regulation and to advertise the peaceable decision of such disputes.

“Joint administration of the seas and oceans within the area requires us to unite to protect the primacy of worldwide regulation so we are able to guarantee equitable and sustainable outcomes for all,” he mentioned.

“It’s also for us to face agency collectively in opposing actions that contradict or are inconsistent with worldwide regulation,” he added.

China claims sovereignty over virtually the entire South China Sea, which is likely one of the world's most important waterways for transport. That places it at odds with the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei, all of which preserve claims to islands, reefs and underwater sources within the area.

Manalo requested the regional neighbors to help cooperation on the confrontation and diplomacy on the threatened use of power.

“For the South China Sea and the seas and oceans of the Indo-Pacific to be unifying domains of peace, stability and prosperity, we have to come collectively extra strongly round collective duty, in addition to a typical sense of administration,” he mentioned.

Australian International Minister Penny Wong echoed Manalo's feedback, saying the 9 member states of the Affiliation of Southeast Asian Nations represented on the Melbourne summit wanted to “feed and defend accepted guidelines, defend worldwide regulation, forestall battle and construct strategic belief.”

“Widespread prosperity is an incentive to take care of peace, however it isn’t sufficient to ensure peace. The stakes are clear,” mentioned Wong.

“We all know {that a} main battle in our area could be devastating to our communities and economies, because the horrible conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine have proven,” he added.

She introduced that Australia is spending 40 million Australian {dollars} ($26 million) to strengthen its maritime partnerships within the area geared toward safety and prosperity.

Australia and the Philippines carried out joint maritime and air patrols within the South China Sea for the primary time in November.

Chinese language International Minister Wang Yi mentioned in Manalo in December that China will preserve army strain on the Philippines within the South China Sea.

Wang “warned that if the Philippine facet misjudges the scenario, goes its personal means, and even agrees with malicious exterior forces to proceed to fire up bother, China will defend its rights in accordance with the regulation and resolutely reply” , the official Xinhua. The information company mentioned.

Wang's feedback adopted China's mobilization of its coast guard and maritime militia to dam Philippine provide missions to help its troopers and fishermen.

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