Philippines rejects advice on South China Sea row

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 13, 2017

The ministers further urged ASEAN member states and China to ensure that the COC be finalized in a timely manner, and that it be legally binding, meaningful, effective, and consistent with global law. For the first time, they underlined the importance of nonmilitarization and self-restraint in conducting activities by all claimants, including those mentioned in the Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the South China Sea.

The diplomat said Sunday Cambodia wants its sentiments on the Korean Peninsula better reflected in the ASEAN foreign ministers' joint communique, causing a delay in its issuance Saturday after the ministers concluded their meeting.

He said only Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippine and Brunei had disputes with China over the South China Sea and they were looking for peaceful resolutions.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi who represented the Chinese government also participated in the ASEAN 50 founding anniversary in Manila, who told reporters that the situation in the South China Sea has already been stabilized and a pragmatic cooperation has been unfolded.

The DFA chief also agreed with China's proposal to have "generally stable and no major disruption from outside parties" before they could announce the official start of the COC consultation during the ASEAN leaders meeting in November.

The U.S. led the condemnation of North Korea's recent missile tests.

Trump's warning comes as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visits countries in Asia, where he attended a regional meeting in Manila at the weekend and urged Southeast Asia to cut back on ties with North Korea.

It said that after extensive discussions, concerns were voiced by some members about land reclamation "and activities in the area which have eroded trust and confidence, increased tension and may undermine peace, security and stability".

In fact, as one analyst pointed out to Japan Times, the current "framework" for the Code of Conduct is little more than a list of topics. It hopes to further promote peace and stability in the economically vital sea lane. What the ASEAN ministers agreed on with China was the adoption of a framework to help them begin the substantive negotiation on the actual provisions of the COC.

Undoubtedly, from the Chinese perspective, the U.S. -Australia-Japan joint statement seriously broke the top hidden rule of foreign diplomacy: never make others lose face publicly.

In this EPA photo, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks to reporters at a hotel in Manila, the Philippines, on August 7, 2017.

In a transcript of a statement by Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho, which was distributed to media in Manila, Pyongyang called new United Nations sanctions "fabricated" and warned there would be "strong follow-up measures" and acts of justice.

"I gradually came to know the true Kono, a Kono who can be dealt with", said Wang.

"It is a very positive step", Sokhonn told a press conference.

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