ASEAN, China approve framework for code of conduct in S. China Sea

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 13, 2017

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi canceled a scheduled one-on-one meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart in Manila at the last minute on Monday due to a spat over the South China Sea, according to people familiar with the situation.

The Kono statement represents the sincerity of Japan, Wang said.

He added that his position on the joint communiqué was based on the directives of President Rodrigo Duterte, who seeks "non-adversarial" approach to resolve the territorial disputes.

"So why will you put it again this year?", he said in a press briefing here at the end of the 50th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting and Related Meetings.

The U.N. Security Council on Saturday imposed fresh sanctions on North Korea that will slash the nation's $3 billion of annual export revenue by a third in response to Pyongyang's two long-range missile tests in July.

But the Asian giant had always been perceived as delaying negotiations with Asean for the maritime code to allow it to complete its land reclamations in the South China Sea without any regulatory restrictions.

They also mentioned in their 46-page statement a vague reference to an worldwide arbitration ruling previous year that invalidated China's historical claims to virtually all of the strategic waterway.

Fourth, to accelerate the implementation of the outcomes on upgrading China-ASEAN Free Trade Area and jointly safeguard the global free trade regime.

The Philippines, under President Benigno Aquino, was one of the most vocal critics of China and filed a case before a UN-backed arbitration, which past year ruled that China's claims to the sea had no legal basis.

In an earlier statement on Sunday, Mr Wang appealed to other governments to resume the six-nation talks that involve the North, the United States, Russia, Japan and South Korea, as well as Beijing.

Philippine academic and security analyst Richard Heydarian summarised the latest developments in stronger terms "Overall it's a slam dunk diplomatic victory for China", he said.

He also maintained that their policy was not weaker than that of the previous administration, and they were "gaining ground" in pursuing national interests by approaching the eastern giant "in a friendly manner [and] building trust with China".

".It doesn't mean all differences have gone away but by focusing on the overall dynamics of the relationship, we can achieve positive progress, confidence and move forward".

"If there are still non-regional forces in the region, they don't want to see stability in the South China Sea and they still want to stir up trouble in the South China Sea, we need to stand together and we need to say no to them together", Wang said. This is a testament to the value the United States places on our partnership with ASEAN and, as a Pacific nation, our engagement with the broader Asia-Pacific region.

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