Lunes, 29 May, 2017

China reports progress on South China Sea code of conduct

South China Sea South China Sea
Montez Delgado | 19 May, 2017, 17:08

The code framework would envisage a round-the-clock hotline and urge defence officials to find ways to follow the code, Chee Wee Kiong of Singapore's foreign ministry said on Thursday.

China and all 10 members of Asean had been hoping to agree this year on the framework, 15 years after committing to draft it.

Along with the Philippines, ASEAN members Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei also maintain claims in the South China Sea that overlap with those of China and Taiwan.

China has installed rocket launchers on a disputed reef in the South China Sea to ward off Vietnamese military combat divers, according to a state-run newspaper, offering new details on China's ongoing military build-up.

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MANILA Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday Chinese counterpart China Xi Jinping had warned him there would be war if Manila tried to enforce an arbitration ruling and drill for oil in a disputed part of the South China Sea.

The Navy said this year's exercises are being held in the South China Sea and are aimed at "increasing interoperability" between the two navies and also "developing common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations". It was unclear if that was mentioned in the framework draft, which has not been made public. ASEAN is now chaired by the Philippines, whose leader Rodrigo Duterte has pursued a bilateral rapprochement with Beijing since being sworn into office in June 2016.

Former Philippine Consul General Maria Hellen Barber De La Vega to Los Angeles represented the Philippines in the 14th China-ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on the Implementation of the DOC and the 23rd ASEAN-China Senior Officials' Consultation.

The participants have not mentioned dates for the adoption of a full code of conduct, and while Huang said he thought the sides could act as early as this year to seize the positive momentum, Storey said a final agreement was likely "some years off".

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In the recent months, tension over the SCS abated after new Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte scaled down Manila's emphasis on its SCS claims even after it won an global tribunal award past year.

At least four Indonesian soldiers were killed during a South China Sea exercise, the Indonesian military said on Thursday.

A drilling platform is extracting methane gas trapped in icelike crystals in the seabed of the South China Sea.

Many global non-claimant nations, however, want the South China Sea to remain as worldwide waters considering the fact that a high proportion of the world's trade passes through this region.

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