May 29, 2017

South China Sea Code Of Conduct Draft Approved

20 May 2017, 01:57 | Melvin Schneider

He was referring to the draft framework for a South China Sea code of conduct between ASEAN and China on Thursday.

The participants have not mentioned dates for the adoption of a full code of conduct, and while Huang said he thought the sides could act as early as this year to seize the positive momentum, Storey said a final agreement was likely "some years off". In recent months, however, China and ASEAN appear to have made swift progress.

All parties have agreed to manage and control their differences under the framework of regional regulations, the Foreign Ministry said in a news release. "It will provide a good foundation for the next round of consultations", Mr. Liu was also quoted as telling the South China Morning Post.

The disputed territories in the South China Sea. "Is it concerned about the stability of the South China Sea, or is it afraid of China-Philippines and China-ASEAN relations developing as the situation stabilizes?".

He chose to downplay an arbitral tribunal ruling last July 12 that rejected China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea in exchange for investments, loans and trade deals from Beijing. China's delegation will be led by China's deputy foreign minister Liu Zhenmin.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping pose for photographers prior to their bilateral meeting held on the sidelines of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Monday, May 15, 2017.

However, it remains unclear whether the eventual COC will be legally binding.

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But he stressed that while it was crafted under the principles and spirit of the "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea", there will eventually be an "enhanced version" of the declaration.

Chinese and Philippines officials will meet in China on Friday for the first round of bilateral talks on their piece of the dispute.

Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam and Taiwan also have overlapping claims.

The island is part of the small Natuna archipelago, remote Indonesian islands in the South China Sea, home to rich fishing grounds and abundant oil reserves.

Indian and Singaporean navies have started a seven-day mega maritime exercise in the SCS, which has been witnessing an aggressive stance by China.

China has deployed rocket launchers to fend off Vietnamese combat divers on one of its man-made islands in the disputed South China Sea, Chinese state media reported Wednesday.

Even the US, a strong supporter of countries locked in maritime disputes with the Chinese, is pulling away amid pressing concerns over the North Korean nuclear and missile threat. Ben Lowsen suggests that the expansion of Chinese "gray zone" operations (i.e., the pursuit of military objectives by non-military forces) poses a threat to global order, and requires a response from the United States.

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