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Philippines races against China sea reclamation activities

MANILA--The Philippines is racing against China's reclamation activities in the South China Sea as it seeks a consensus among member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) regarding the maritime disputes in the region.

Manila's Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Albert del Rosario said in a televised interview earlier Monday that he was seeking the help of the ASEAN in freezing all activities in the South China Sea in order to de-escalate tensions.

“It's not a new proposal, we are trying to reinvigorate the efforts of the ASEAN to achieve full and effective implementation of the Declaration of Conduct (DOC) of Parties in the South China Sea,” DFA spokesman Charles Jose said in a press conference.

“We want to be a leader in speeding things up. We really need to step on the gas pedal to move faster,” he said.

The DOC is an agreement signed by all 10 members of the ASEAN and China in 2002 which provides that all signatories should “exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability including, among others.”

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