Marcos bares PH, Vietnam talks over South China Sea claims

The Philippines and Vietnam have already initiated talks on an agreement on their territorial claims in the South China Sea.

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President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. and Vietnam Ambassador Hoang Huy Chung (Photo courtesy of Malacañang)

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. bared this during the farewell call of Ambassador Hoang Huy Chung of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to the Philippines in Malacañang on Thursday, Aug. 10.

According to the Palace, the President mentioned that "both countries already initiated talks on an agreement regarding territorial claims in the South China Sea."

The President, however, did not elaborate but expressed his optimism that "such an agreement will bring an element of stability in the region."

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has been tasked to develop talks with Vietnam regarding the 200 nautical miles exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Philippines.  

This follows the bilateral meeting between Marcos and Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on the sidelines of the 42nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia in May this year.

Chung recently expressed his support for the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) framework to settle maritime disputes in the South China Sea, where Vietnam also claims several disputed territories.  

He recognizes the need to uphold freedom of navigation and overflight in the contested sea lane, where over a trillion dollars worth of trade passes through annually.

In 2015, the Philippines and Vietnam formed a strategic partnership to enhance maritime cooperation, including joint activities in the South China Sea within the framework of domestic and international law.

During Chung's farewell call, the President expressed his gratitude to the Vietnamese envoy for bringing diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Vietnam closer, and for making progress in various diplomatic areas, particularly in trade.