The lurking fear that China is now hegemonic, while it remained adamant after the PCA ruling, could undermine Asean, said Professor Muhammad Abu Bakar, local expert in Asean affairs.
The professor said: “Hence, Asean should follow steps with the Philippines and Vietnam and show public support for the PCA ruling”.
He delivered his speech at the regional forum organised by Worldfuture Organisation entitled ‘Asean Unity & Peace After The PCA Ruling’ held in Kuala Lumpur last week.
The event organiser has, as a conclusion to the event, issued a 10 points resolution that it think would help the Asean address the South China Sea dispute.
Former Malaysian Foreign Minister Tan Sri Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar delivered the keynote address at the event.
His main points were the Asean should use the economic potentials in the SCS to deal with China on the issue, adding that economic exploitation of the disputed seas could help settle the issue.
Syed Hamid said the Asean should find common grounds as an organisation, and set aside their differences over the thorny SCS issue.
This, he said, would help the organisation overcome the dispute with China.
A speaker from Vietnam, whose country is in the cross-hairs with China on the issue, said the SCS dispute can only settle or manage if all party express their good faith in addressing the dispute on the basis of international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
ASEAN should play a greater role on the SCS issue and must act in spirit of unity and the rule of law, said Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam International Law Faculty lecturer Minh Tran Huu Duy. He said there are several indications that the South China Sea is being or about to be militarising.
China deployed long-ranged missles in Woody Island in the Paracel Islands, This constitutes a threat to security, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea. Minh Tran Huu Duy
The various speakers at the event urged the Asean movement to unite by setting aside what divides them, in order to show a stronger front in dealing with the SCS conflcit.
Below are the 10 Points Resolutions.
The Asean member states should use common economic interests to resolve the South China Sea dispute
The lurking fear that China is now hegemonic, while it remained adamant after the PCA ruling, could undermine Asean. Hence, Asean should follow steps with the Philippines and Vietnam and show public support for the PCA ruling
There should be a concerted ASEAN approach to the dispute as South China Sea is our backyard and front lawn
It is pertinent for ASEAN to remain united in upholding peace in the South China Sea. Although the long-term solution seems to be “shelving the disputes and developing the region jointly”
Asean nations must work together to avoid military conflict in this region, the ramifications of which will be disastrous and erase the decades of progress we have made in terms of economic progress
If the Asean could bring in more countries within the grouping, that is nations like East Timor and Papua New Guinea, it will consolidate its strength and this could sway China away
What affects one, affects us all. We need to come together as a regional co-operation to make a United stand against China for the common good of all countries in ASEAN
The SCS dispute can only settle or manage if all party express their good faith in addressing the dispute on the basis of international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. ASEAN should play a greater role on the SCS issue and must act in spirit of unity and the rule of law.
As a result, Worldfuture believes the event achieved its aims but the resolution will be sent to all parties that participated at the event, as well as the media across the Asean.