ASEAN seeking compromise with China on maritime issues

ASEAN seeking compromise with China on maritime issues”

The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China should establish a set of rules that were "legally binding, meaningful, effective, and consistent with global law", the foreign ministers of the three countries said in a statement following a meeting in Manila.

The draft is expected to be submitted to the ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers' Meeting for approval on August 6.

Ei Sun Oh, adjunct senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore said: "It would appear China has never lost in terms of seeing the language of ASEAN forum statements being toned down".

Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said the ministers were divided over a US proposal to suspend the North from the ASEAN Regional Forum, which will hold its annual meeting on Monday.

But ASEAN has again shown its inability to make progress on a robust code of conduct for the disputed waters that is legally binding on China and the ASEAN members, analysts say.

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".

The foreign ministers from other countries, including Japan, the United States, China and the two Koreas, will join the meeting later to complete the attendance by all 27 member countries.

Another diplomat says the wordings on the South China Sea issue to be included in the communique had not yet been finalized Saturday.

The South China Sea has always been the most divisive issue for the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), with China's influence looming large over its activities.

05 de agosto de 2017, 10:53Manila, Aug 5 (Prensa Latina) The foreign ministers of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) are meeting here today amid expectations on relations between the Philippines and the United States.

The communiqué did not mention China, which has been documented to have undertaken large-scale reclamation and improvement works on man-made islands in the South China Sea.

China claims almost all of the strategically vital and resource-rich waters, despite overlapping claims by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

China's territorial disputes in the strategic waterway with five other governments intensified after it built islands in disputed waters and reportedly started to install a missile defense system on them, alarming rival claimant states and Western governments.

Malaysia, Taiwan, Brunei, Vietnam and the Philippines, however, all claim some or all of the South China Sea and its myriad shoals, reefs and islands.

North Korea briefed diplomats of Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia in Pyongyang on Tuesday about the "resounding success" of its latest ICBM test, its foreign ministry said on its website.

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