Progress made on draft of South China Sea code of conduct




  • In World
  • 2017-05-19 04:59:11Z
  • By Associated Press

BEIJING (AP) - China and the 10 countries in the Association of Southeast Asia Nations have agreed on the rough outline of a legally binding code of conduct designed to prevent clashes in the strategic South China Sea, officials said.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin was quoted in state media Friday as saying the agreement laid a "solid foundation" for further negotiations.

"All parties have vowed to continue to constructively advance the negotiations" toward the early conclusion of the code of conduct, Liu was quoted as telling Xinhua News Agency following Thursday's meeting in the southern Chinese city of Guiyang.

The Philippines welcomed the finalization of the draft of the framework. It contains elements that the parties agreed upon and will be presented to Chinese and ASEAN foreign ministers in August for consideration, the statement from the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said.

Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Chee Wee Kiong said the sides hoped that would produce needed "political support" from the ministers.

No details were given and Liu said the text of the framework agreement would remain secret for now. No date was given for the adoption of a full code of conduct.

Also Friday, Liu and the Philippines ambassador to Beijing Jose Santiago "Chito" Santa Romana were to meet separately to discuss an agenda for future talks on their dispute over islands and waters in the eastern portion of the South China Sea.

China was enraged by a ruling last year from a Hague tribunal invalidating most of its South China Sea claims in a case brought by the Philippines. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has downplayed that ruling as part of his push for a broad improvement in relations between the sides since taking office in June that has cast a shadow over Manila's ties to its longtime ally, the United States.

Despite the thaw in relations, China protested a visit last month by Manila's defense and military chiefs to a disputed island in the South China Sea. The Philippine government maintained that it owns the territory where Filipino troops and villagers have lived for decades.

At a briefing in Beijing earlier this week, Romana said the sides had "turned a new page" on dealing with their South China Sea issues.

"Generally, the situation has eased in terms of tensions between the Philippines and China," he said, citing regained access by Philippine fishermen to Scarborough Shoal after years of being blocked by Chinese ships.

"It does not mean the differences have disappeared. As (Duterte) told President Xi (Jinping), there will still be problems, but we are willing to discuss the issues with the Chinese side and he is optimistic that the bilateral negotiations and bilateral dialogue is the way to go," Romana said.

China and the members of ASEAN committed 15 years ago to signing a code of conduct, but progress has been slow amid disputes over the body of water that China claims virtually in its entirety.

In the absence of such an agreement, they have followed a separate document called the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, or DOC, which among other provisions, commits the parties to "exploring ways for building trust and confidence ... on the basis of equality and mutual respect."

Along with the Philippines, ASEAN members Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei also maintain claims in the South China Sea that overlap with those of China and Taiwan.

An estimated $5 trillion in global trade annually passes through the South China Sea, which is also home to rich fishing grounds and a potential wealth of oil, gas and other natural resources.

COMMENTS

More Related News

China
China's top paper says Australian media reports are racist
  • World
  • 2017-12-11 01:05:16Z

Australian media reports on Chinese interference in Australia are racist and paranoid, China's top newspaper said on Monday, stepping up a war of words over concerns in Australia about Chinese influence in the country. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said last week he took reports very

PM will
PM will 'stand up' for Australia after China criticism

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said he will "stand up" for Australia, brushing aside Chinese criticism of new foreign interference laws as fears rise of overseas meddling in domestic institutions. Canberra has announced the wide-ranging reforms to espionage and foreign interference legislation, with Attorney General George Brandis saying such as meddling was an "extremely serious problem". Turnbull himself has singled out China as a focus of concern, citing "disturbing reports" about Beijing's influence.

China Is Now Making Some of the Most Powerful Guns on the Planet
China Is Now Making Some of the Most Powerful Guns on the Planet

Like the rest of China's military revolution over the past quarter century, its small-arms revolution is a remarkable achievement. China's People's Liberation Army has traditionally relied on foreign and Communist bloc weapons manufactured in China under license-or not. Now, however, as the PLA undergoes an unprecedented modernization, a new generation of locally designed and manufactured light weaponry is arming China's armed forces, from handguns to light machine guns.

China's 'tiger mothers' rebel against punitive homework for parents
China's 'tiger mothers' rebel against punitive homework for parents

Fed up with picking up the slack in terms of helping her son with his heavy school workload, 39-year-old mother, Mrs Wang, has joined millions of like-minded parents who are calling for something that China's 'tiger mothers' would have considered unthinkable only a few years ago - a break from homework. The campaign focuses on the frustrations of parents who believe they shouldn't be spending their evenings tackling arithmetic questions or reciting complex sentence structures when they could be watching a soap or reading a magazine. It was triggered by a viral post titled: "Goodness, what have I done wrong to have to do homework with my kids." After millions on views on Sina Weibo,...

Why America Should Beware a Resurgent China
Why America Should Beware a Resurgent China

The world is witnessing a new, more assertive phase in China's foreign engagement under President Xi Jinping. As it makes its presence felt in every corner of the world and posits an alternative to the Western liberal-democratic order that has underpinned international relations since the end of World War II, China is beginning to experience some of the blowback that other global leaders before it have been met with. With doubts over the future of U.S. global leadership rising and democracies worldwide arguably entering a period of fatigue, we are witnessing a new, more assertive phase in China's foreign engagement under President Xi Jinping.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: World

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.