ASEAN, China adopt framework for South China Sea code of conduct

Kristopher Drake
August 7, 2017

Vietnam's SOM ASEAN head Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung said this is a positive beginning for the practical and efficient COC negotiation process later.

"The discussions are ongoing, so we are trying to find the consensus because that is the principle of Asean, having a consensus", Mr Bolivar said.

When asked whether Pyongyang would agree to start six-party talks, Wang said it is not easy.

Jennings also said that the United States embassy in Manila stated on Friday that the U.S. would push Southeast Asian countries to "downgrade diplomatic engagements and exchanges" with North Korea before the Asean Regional Forum which Tillerson would also be attending in Manila next week.

Wang said the situation between claimant states was quite different to previous years and was now more relaxed and conducive to stability.

Philippine government spokesman Robespierre Bolivar also announced the adoption of the framework and consensus on steps to start negotiations on the actual code.

As an important regional organization, ASEAN has become a major force in promoting regional integration and maintaining regional peace and stability, Wang said.

In fact, an exasperated diplomat based in the Asean secretariat in Jakarta told an worldwide news service then that it was like déjà vu how the heads of state and government were behaving in Vientiane-referring to their lack of unity and indecisiveness in handling the resulting tension from China's seizure of the Panatag or Scarborough Shoal.

The issue was also likely to top the agenda when ASEAN ministers meet with their dialogue partners, including the United States, Japan, China and Russian Federation for Asia's largest security forum on Monday.

China has always taken ASEAN as a priority in its foreign diplomacy and has always supported ASEAN in taking a central role in regional cooperation and a bigger role in dealing with worldwide and regional affairs, he said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the US State Department officials are expected to tackle with their Philippine counterparts at the sidelines of the ASEAN meetings the security situation in Marawi City.

Wang outlined a seven-point proposal for the future.

Among the topics of immediate concern are the South China Sea, North Korea and Muslim militants.

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

Foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Saturday, August 5, endorsed the framework Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.

Fifth, to fully implement the China-ASEAN Joint Statement on Production Capacity Cooperation and boost each other's industrialization process.

Critics of China have accused it of trying to divide ASEAN with strong-armed tactics and chequebook diplomacy, enticing smaller countries in the bloc such as Cambodia and Laos to support it.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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