Putrajaya – Malaysia is supporting the Philippines’ position that a resolution of the Panatag Shoal dispute with China should be based on the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Vice President Jejomar C. Binay said today.

In a meeting at the Prime Minister’s office, Binay said Malaysian Prime Minister Dato Sri Najib Tun Razak also favors the participation of member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) who are also claimants to the Spratlys in talks to resolve the Panatag dispute.

The Spratlys, located in the West Philippine Sea or South China Sea, is being claimed by four ASEAN countries, along with China and Taiwan.

“I conveyed to the Prime Minister our government’s position on the dispute with China over Panatag Shoal and he supports our position that it should be resolved based on international law,” Binay said.

“Both the Philippines and Malaysia agree that there needs to be a legal commitment to enter into a peaceful resolution of the dispute,” he added.

The Vice President’s meeting with the Malaysian Prime Minister is the first high level, bilateral discussion in five years between the two countries.

Earlier, Binay served as keynote speaker at the Philippines-Malaysia Investment Partnership Forum where he expressed confidence that the two countries “will continue to work together until the issues are satisfactorily resolved in favor of peace and economic cooperation.”

Joining him were 35 business leaders belonging to the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines.

Binay expressed optimism that the forum will bring in more investments in key industries of the Philippines and boost interest in Mindanao as an investment destination.