Ministers adopt South China Sea code framework

Share
Ministers adopt South China Sea code framework

The group together with China signed in 2002 a non-binding Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) but the document failed to prevent conflicts as most of claimants, notably China, built facilities on islands and features in the sea, which facilitated militarisation.

The 10 foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations reiterated in a joint statement Saturday their grave concerns over the escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula due to the North's two ICBM tests last month, saying the launches threaten world stability.

Cambodia, one of China's strongest allies within Asean, has firmly resisted, according to the diplomats involved in the talks in Manila, as well as an excerpt of proposed Cambodian resolution obtained by AFP on Sunday.

"We recognised the benefits that would be gained from having the South China Sea as a sea of peace, stability and prosperity", it added.

Four members of Asean - the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei - have been at loggerheads with China for decades over the territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

In celebration of Association of Southeast Asian Nations' 50th anniversary, airline firm Air Asia unveiled promo fares to all destinations across its regional network.

Jay Batongbacal, an expert on the South China Sea at the University of the Philippines, told news channel ANC the adoption of the framework gave China "the absolute upper hand" in terms of strategy, because it will be able to decide when the negotiating process can start. China ignored the ruling.

A joint statement released later that day "called on China and the Philippines to abide by the Arbitral Tribunal's 2016 Award in the Philippines-China arbitration, as it is final and legally binding on both parties".

Under President Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines has shifted to warmer relations with China.

"The ministers further urged ASEAN member states and China to ensure that the COC be finalized in a timely manner, and that it be legally binding, meaningful, effective, and consistent with global law", the joint statement read.

This, even as Japan, along with Australia and the United States, raised the issues on the South China Sea and North Korea's nuclear weapons program during the seventh ministerial meeting of the Trilateral Strategic Dialogue (TSD) here.

The ASEAN ministers failed to release the joint statement as expected after meeting on Saturday due to their differences on the sea issue, with Vietnam pushing for tougher language and Cambodia lobbying hard for China.

China claims almost all of the strategically vital and resource-rich waters, despite overlapping claims by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. Rocks and reefs were transformed into artificial islands with military like installations complete with runways.

ASEAN ministers said in a communique Sunday they "warmly welcome improving cooperation" with China and are ready to begin substantive negotiation on the code of conduct, but made no mention of making it binding.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said he preferred a legally-binding agreement, which other countries, like Vietnam, supported.

It is hoped this will facilitate work for the conclusion of an effective COC on a mutually agreed timeline.

Share

Advertisement

Related Posts

Palestinians killed in recent Al-Aqsa violence: NGO
Israeli authorities are investigating the shootings in which a bystander, Bashar al-Hamarneh, was killed . He said that Jordan was "infuriated" by the matter, calling it "unacceptable and provocative behavior".

Another Pixel 2 leak shows the device's huge front bezels
Meanwhile, the Google Pixel is now available at its discounted price of $524, down from its original price of $649. Leaked by Evan Blass of VentureBeat , the image showcases a phone that looks strangely similar to its predecessor.

Sinead O'Connor Posts Distressing Facebook Video
She also encourages her fans to go and reach out to mentally ill people in their communities lend a hand. Last fall, O'Connor said in a Facebook post that she was alone and had no emotional support.

Doctor Who's Catherine Tate Reveals Her Thoughts on Jodie Whittaker's Casting
The actress admitted that as she does not use social media she had largely missed out on the frenzy that greeted her casting. There's no advice you can give because no person can play this part the same and it's so freeing'.

Osprey Wreckage Found Off Australian Coast, Three US Marines Remain Missing
Ospreys were grounded in Japan last December after pilots ditched one in shallow water just off Camp Schwab in northern Okinawa. In Maine, the family of Marine aviator Ben Cross has come forward to identify him as one of three who could not be rescued.

Taylor Swift attends court for jury selection in groping case
Both Taylor Swift and David Mueller are expected to testify in court this week, with the trial looking to last up to two weeks. The jury was selected on Monday, Aug. 7 in a Denver federal court before the trial was set to commence, according to Reuters .

Klopp: Liverpool Do Not Need Centre-Backs
Liverpool avoided a sanction, but were forced to abandon their move for the defender and make a public apology for their actions. The Anfield club said they were no longer interested in him again and Klopp has reiterated that.

Google rebukes employee's gender gap memo
The article was posted on an internal discussion board in the company but was published in full by tech website Gizmodo . As Brown noted in her letter to Google staffers, "Changing a culture is hard, and it's often uncomfortable".

CNN Poll: Trump Approval Hits Low of 38 Percent
Other tweets from Trump Monday morning were far angrier than the post claiming he was working in New Jersey. The poll also notes that there's been a 14% decrease in Republicans who strongly support the president.

Cong MLAs return to Gujarat; taken to resort in Anand
At present, Congress has 51 MLAs in the house but Vaghela's loyalists are expected to abstain or vote against Patel on Tuesday. As the past few years have seen the dwindling of Patel's political stars, those of Shah, have been shining brighter than ever.

© 2015 Stump Report. All Rights reserved.