Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Code of Conduct for South China Sea

Update 19 May 2017: China, ASEAN agree on framework for South China Sea code of conduct
An aerial view of uninhabited island of Spratlys in the disputed South China Sea, April 21, 2017.   REUTERS/Erik De Castro
An aerial view of uninhabited island of Spratlys in the disputed South China Sea, April 21, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

China and Southeast Asian countries agreed on Thursday to a framework for a long-mooted code of conduct for the disputed South China Sea, China's foreign ministry said, as both sides step up efforts to ease tension in the strategic waterway.

China and the members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) had been hoping to agree on the framework this year, 15 years after committing to draft it.

After a meeting between Chinese and ASEAN officials in the Chinese city of Guiyang, China's foreign ministry said the framework had been agreed upon, but gave no details of its contents.

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China and Asean agree to draft code of conduct in South China Sea
An island outpost, one of several, being built by China in the South China Sea.
An island outpost, one of several, being built by China in the South China Sea

Beijing and its Southeast Asian neighbors have agreed to a framework for a code of conduct in the South China Sea, a move that could reduce the risk of clashes in one of the world's busiest waterways.

Along with the framework, rival claimants China and the Philippines will start talks today over their competing claims in the sea, according to senior diplomats from both sides.

Representatives for China and all 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations agreed to the framework in Guiyang in Guizhou province after two days of talks that wrapped up on Thursday, said Liu Zhenmin, deputy foreign minister and head of China's delegation.

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Guideline for conduct pact in the South China Sea OK'd
File Photo of Yongxing Island, home to the government of Sansha, China's southernmost city. (Photo/Xinhua)
File Photo of Yongxing Island, home to the government of Sansha, China's southernmost city. (Photo/Xinhua)

China and ASEAN countries on Thursday approved a draft framework of the South China Sea Code of Conduct, marking a milestone in peacefully resolving the South China Sea issue.

The 14th Senior Officials' Meeting on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, held in Guiyang, capital of Guizhou province, approved the draft.

All parties have agreed to manage and control their differences under the framework of regional regulations, the Foreign Ministry said in a news release.

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China and Asean agree on draft code of conduct for South China Sea, says Beijing’s top envoy

A first draft of a Sino-Asean code of conduct for the disputed South China Sea has been completed, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Wednesday.

Talks between Beijing and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) were needed to decide on the final version, which was likely to cover a binding crisis management mechanism, prevention of the installation of offensive weapons and freedom of navigation, analysts said. China and Asean have been discussing a set of rules to avoid conflicts among claimants in the busy South China Sea since 2010.

On the sidelines of the National People’s Congress, Wang said the code’s first draft had been completed, and both China and Asean countries were satisfied.

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Full Coverage:
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related:
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"Singapore - US" Bilateral Ties
The Historic Ma-Xi Summit