Philippines calls for serious study on Chinese proposal on dialogue relations upgrade
Philippines provides US$100,000 for ASEAN-COVID-19 response fund
MANILA – Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin said ASEAN under the chairmanship of Brunei Darussalam’s Minister Dato Erywan will be as successful as what Vietnam accomplished.
He said the theme “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper” is a fitting anchor to the regional efforts that would further strengthen ASEAN mechanisms.
During his intervention at ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat via video conference yesterday, Secretary Locsin announced the Philippines’ contribution to the ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund amounting to US$100,000.00
He said external relations play an important role in ASEAN’s relatively successful response to the pandemic. He also recognized the support and help of the region’s external partners which include South Korea, Japan, China, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and the European Union, which all “greatly contributed” to ASEAN response and recovery.
Secretary Locsin said the Philippines welcomes moves to have a more comprehensive criteria with respect to ASEAN’s external relations, in assessing future partnerships to further promote ASEAN Centrality and reduce its former marginality, “while staying skeptical of great power schemes that seek to drag in ASEAN piecemeal into larger quarrels, more dangerous rivalries, and far bigger ambitions that we as a region of peace do not share.”
He further suggested that the parameters be used in studying China’s proposed elevation of dialogue relations from Strategic Partnership to Comprehensive Strategic partnership.
“The Philippines goes along with this proposal as China Coordinator; and to bring China’s case for it to this forum,” he explained. he recalled his meeting with State Counselor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi recently where the latter made a good case for China’s proposition. He explained it is imperative to listen to the views and concerns of other ASEAN members to come up with “an ASEAN consensus on a sound decision or none.”
Secretary Locsin said this year’s the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations as the Philippines will press harder for the completion of a Second Reading of the negotiated Text for a Code of Conduct.
“Friend we all are, true friends we all avow to be; as friends all around we owe each other sincerity,” he concluded. (Melo M. Acuña)
Foreign Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. (DFA Supplied Photo)