Recent developments surrounding the South China Sea

Gritty Talks Ahead as China, ASEAN Agree to Avoid Mishaps in Disputed Sea

The drawing up of a framework outline for the proposed code of behavior created to prevent clashes in the South China Sea has been a significant achievement.

Several ASEAN diplomats said that among the members who pushed for a communique that retained the more contentious elements was Vietnam, which has competing claims with China over the Paracel and Spratly archipelago and has had several spats with Beijing over energy concessions.

It once again underscores the strong political will of China and the ASEAN countries to work together to maintain stability in the South China Sea and sustain the positive momentum they have established in their relations.

He stressed that "China is seeking cooperation with ASEAN for development in the South China Sea".

Cayetano said: "Japan, Australia, and the U.S. are our friends".

As a hard-won result achieved through the joint efforts of the two sides to reach an agreement, the document mirrors the shared commitment to build peace and stability in the waters demonstrated by China and the Asean countries recently.

Australia, Japan and the USA yesterday urged Southeast Asia and China to ensure that a South China Sea code of conduct they have committed to draw up will be legally binding and said they strongly opposed "coercive unilateral actions". They (China) are not reclaiming land anymore.

The ASEAN foreign ministers meeting earlier made no mention of the ruling that was brought to the Hague by the Philippines. The Code of Conduct envisioned by the U.S., Australia, and Japan would be "legally binding, meaningful, effective, and consistent with global law".


Kono, a graduate of Georgetown University in Washington, spoke English in all of the multilateral gatherings he attended, a government official said, a rare choice for Japanese foreign ministers.

"We also fully recognize the trend towards relaxation in the South China Sea", he added.

This was followed by the call for a "Code of Conduct for the South China Sea", which was given its own acronym, "COC".

"One key issue is the question of legally binding", he told reporters late on Sunday.

Beijing claims 90 percent of the South China Sea, which is believed to hold a wealth of untapped oil and gas deposits.

"As being chair, our main task was to produce a joint communiqué that all Asean members would sign regardless of differences in position", Abella told a press conference.

Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi on Sunday said that while the sanctions were "necessary" after Pyongyang's missile tests in July, only negotiations would resolve the conflict on the Korean Peninsula.

Right panel shows China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi (3rd from right ) speaking with North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho (2nd from left) during their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Asean regional security forum in Manila on August 6, 2017.

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