US, Japan, Australia Urge Binding Code for South China Sea

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 13, 2017

But experts say China will not allow that and ASEAN may end up acquiescing to what amounts to a gentlemen's agreement.

China has strongly opposed what it calls interference by countries outside the region in the South China Sea issue.

In a joint statement, the foreign ministers said the Arbitral Tribunal's 2016 Award in the Philippines-China arbitration is "final and legally binding by both parties".

The problem is that it does not refer to whether the code of conduct will have legally binding force.

China claims almost all of the South China Sea, including waters approaching the coasts of ASEAN members Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei.

Manila: The United States, Australia and Japan on Monday denounced Beijing's island-building and militarisation of the South China Sea, in contrast to the increasingly tepid response from Southeast Asian nations over the festering issue.

Yet despite deeming North Korea a top security threat, the young Trump administration has struggled to find a strategy that differs significantly from what the US has tried in the past.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho arrives at a hotel in Manila, Philippines, Sunday evening.

"Do not violate the U.N.'s decision or provoke global society's goodwill by conducting missile launching or nuclear tests", Wang said, in an unusually direct admonition.

ASEAN has long wanted to sign China up to a set of laws to prevent disputes over energy reserves, fishing, and land reclamation, and avoid military conflicts in the South China Sea, where Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and China have competing claims.

The U.S. and ASEAN claimants to the waters and islands oppose the work.

These tensions divide ASEAN.

"The achievements that ASEAN has gained over the past 50 years are very huge, creating a firm foundation for the development of the ASEAN Community and the realisation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025", the leader said.

Regarding the South China Sea, the ministers "took note" of the concerns expressed by some of them "on the land reclamations and activities in the area, which have eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions and may undermine peace, security and stability in the region". It continues to reject the arbitration ruling.

The U.S., Chinese and Japanese navies ended a three-day search for a missing sailor who was believed to have gone overboard in the South China Sea.

During the meeting on Friday, the AICHR reported to member states the region's progress on human rights issues according to the Asean Human Rights Declaration. China sent ships to intercept the destroyer. "We'll decide what is good for us, we will decide what strategies are good for us because we are a sovereign nation", Cayetano said.

His words were contained in a speech in Beijing marking the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army.

If the arrival of Tillerson in the region was meant to indicate a renewed interest in Southeast Asia for the Trump administration, the bloc's statement on the South China Sea indicates it may well be too late. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article. We can not guarantee that it is suitable for the visually or hearing impaired.

Be Civil - It's OK to have a difference in opinion but there's no need to be a jerk. "Not this kind of episodic back and forth that we've seen".

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