Southeast Asian nations feud over China sea claims
13 Agosto, 2017, 22:37
In the ASEAN meeting with the US, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will discuss three basic issues - denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, counter-terrorism, and maritime security.
This, even as Japan, along with Australia and the United States, raised the issues on the South China Sea and North Korea's nuclear weapons program during the seventh ministerial meeting of the Trilateral Strategic Dialogue (TSD) here.
The foreign ministers of 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations stressed "the importance of non-militarisation and self-restraint" for all activities in the South China Sea by all countries, according to a statement released on Sunday, which summed up their meeting the day before.
But since Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte assumed power in June a year ago, he warmed up his country's relations with Beijing by placing the territorial disputes issue in the back burner.
In 2002, China and ASEAN signed the "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea", which advocated peacefully settling territorial disputes, based on global law.
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When that happens, "China may be less able to force its way with Sino-ASEAN relations", said Tan, who is a former Singapore foreign service officer and a former nominated member of parliament. The statement posted on the official website of the Chinese Embassy in Manila, omitted any reference to China's man-made installations on disputed islands in the South China Sea.
Manila filed the case in January 2013 after China took control of Scarborough Shoal, 124 nautical miles from the Philippines' north-western coast.
Its sweeping claims overlap with those of ASEAN members Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei, as well as Taiwan.
As President Donald Trump succeeded Barack Obama, who had challenged China's assertive advances in the disputed sea, US allies wondered if Trump would press America's role as a regional counterbalance to the Asian powerhouse.
The protracted quibblings delayed the statement's release, two Southeast Asian diplomats told the AP.
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The United States says it does not have a position on the South China Sea dispute but will assert freedom of navigation rights in the waterway.
The regional grouping decides by consensus, and previous year Cambodia and Laos, who receive massive aid from China, blocked any mention of the arbitration ruling in the final text. China concluded talks with ASEAN for a negotiating framework for the nonaggression code, a baby step both sides hailed as a milestone.
"A non-binding COC would be a disaster of the first order".
Wang told a news conference in Manila that those conditions include noninterference by "outside parties", apparently referring to the United States, which Beijing has frequently accused of meddling in what it says is an Asian dispute that should be resolved only by the countries involved.
Robespierre Bolivar, foreign ministry spokesman of host Philippines, said the adoption of the framework symbolised the commitment to creating a "substantive and effective" code. "If China opposes those actions, so be it".
The United States has unsuccessfully lobbied for the 27 members of the ASEAN Regional Forum to suspend North Korea's membership. Bang was in the Philippines with a North Korean delegation that includes North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho .
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