By Priam Nepomuceno

National Security Adviser Eduardo Año (File photo)

MANILA – National Security Adviser (NSA) Eduardo Año said the strong stance of G7 nations against China’s dangerous use of its coast guard and maritime militia forces in the South China Sea highlights the organization’s support for international law and rules-based international order.

“The resolute stance of the G7 nations against the dangerous use of coast guard and maritime militia in the South China Sea, particularly the obstruction of high seas freedom of navigation, is a significant affirmation of the principles of international law and the rules-based international order,” he said in a statement on Saturday.

Año was referring to the communique issued by G7 in Apulia, Italy where it expressed serious concerns and strong opposition to any unilateral attempt to change the status quo in the East and South China Seas by force or coercion.

“We appreciate the G7’s explicit condemnation of the increasing use of dangerous maneuvers and water cannons against Philippine vessels. This acknowledgment underscores the international community’s recognition of the threats faced by our nation and reaffirms the importance of upholding the rule of law in maritime disputes,” he added.

Año also emphasized that there is no legal basis for China’s expansive maritime claims in the South China Sea.

He also said the Philippines is one with the G7 in opposing China’s militarization, coercive actions, and intimidation activities in the region.

“The principles enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) must be respected, and its role as the legal framework governing all activities in the oceans and seas must be upheld universally,” Año said.

“Furthermore, the G7’s reiteration of the significance of the 2016 Arbitral Award is a vital reminder that this ruling is legally binding. It serves as a crucial basis for the peaceful resolution of disputes,” he added.

The NSA also said the Philippines remains committed to working with the international community to ensure peace, stability, and security in the region.

“We look forward to continued collaboration with the G7 and the international community in general in upholding maritime law and ensuring that the South China Sea remains a zone of peace, freedom, and cooperation,” he added. (PNA)