Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has stressed that conflicting territorial claims in the South China Sea should be resolved through dialogue.
Marcos made the remark during an address to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, the first day of the General Debate. This is Marcos's first appearance at an international conference since he took office in June.
In an apparent reference to China, the president said, "Differences should only be resolved through peaceful means." He added, "By reinforcing the predictability and stability of international law, particularly the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, we provided an example of how states should resolve their differences: through reason and through right."
The convention was the basis for a ruling by an international arbitration tribunal in 2016 that fully rejected China's claim to historic rights in the South China Sea.
Marcos also expressed concern that rifts between the United States and China could deepen over the issues of the South China Sea and Taiwan.
He said, "In Asia, our hard-won peace and stability is under threat by increasing strategic and ideological tensions."