New US envoy urges China to reduce regional tensions

Posted at 12/05/2013 4:42 PM | Updated as of 12/05/2013 4:42 PM

MANILA -The new US Ambassador to the Philippines called for diplomatic initiatives following China’s latest move to set up an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the East China Sea.

"I think you know where we stand. We think that we should be working very much to reduce tension, [whether it] is in Southeast Asia or Northeast Asia, that is our goal," said Ambassador Philip Goldberg after a courtesy call Thursday morning on Senate President Franklin Drilon.

Goldberg said there was no discussion on China's Air Defense Identification Zone with Drilon.

He said China's unilateral decision is something that could raise tensions and possibly involve miscalculations,

" Vice President (Joe Biden), I know, has made that clear in his visit to Japan and China. I think we need to work to reduce tensions and to make sure there are no miscalculations. We should not try or speculate about additional measures. Let's reduce, not increase," said Goldberg.

The Philippines on Wednesday called for an agreement on a legally-binding Code of Conduct over disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) amid China’s implementation of an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the East China Sea.

Several nations are claiming ownership over the West Philippine Sea, including the Philippines and China
Secretary Herminio Coloma of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) said: “Nagpahayag na rin po ang ating [DFA] na hindi dapat magkaroon ng premise o reason para mag-escalate ang anxiety or tension hinggil diyan dahil ang nagiging practical consequence diyan ay iyong concerns about civil aviation and nautical safety.

"Kaya nga po patuloy iyong ating paninindigan na kinakailangan maging rules-based ang approach diyan at isaalang-alang ang kapakanan ng lahat ng mga bansa na merong… stakeholders diyan sa prosesong iyan. And we join the other ASEAN countries in the hope that the promulgation of the Code of Conduct ay mas mapapabilis in the light of recent developments.” -- with a report from Willard Cheng,