Indonesian soldiers killed in South China Sea exercise

Posted May 20, 2017

The success of the first BCM meeting represents an important signal that China and the Philippines are jointly moving toward an early conclusion on the Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea, Wu said, while adding that further efforts are needed from all parties on the issue.

It was unclear if that was mentioned in the framework draft, which has not been made public.

Beijing claims almost all of the South China Sea, despite partial counter-claims from Taiwan and several Asean members including the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

"We hope that our consultations on the code are not subject to any outside interference", Liu said.

Besides China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan also have territorial claims in the area.

Of course, Secretary Ca-yetano pointed out that many countries want the framework to be legally binding.

China also said it would be forced to tell him the truth if he pressed the issue.

Ironically, the Philippine president's remarks came on the same day that China and the Philippines opened talks on the mainland aimed at resolving their South China Sea dispute. Under the BCM, officials from the respective foreign ministries and maritime affairs agencies will meet alternately in China and the Philippines once every six months.

Duterte disclosed Xi's alleged threat in a speech on Friday as he hit back at domestic critics, Carpio among them, who said he has gone soft on Beijing by refusing to push it to comply with The Hague ruling.

China is now expanding defensive forces in the South China Sea, including building air strips on man-made islands, which has raised concerns from Southeast Asian countries and the United States. But I'm saying let's start with it being a binding, gentlemen's agreement.

Some ASEAN diplomats have expressed concern about whether China is being honest, or whether ASEAN has enough leverage to get China to commit to a set of rules. "We have community of nations which signed", Cayetano told reporters.

An estimated $5 trillion in global trade annually passes through the South China Sea, which is also home to rich fishing grounds and a potential wealth of oil, gas and other natural resources. "We just wanted to. present the Philippine position", he said. "If we went straight to the contentious issues, we would not get to where we are now". "We wanted first to pick the low hanging fruit".

"I'm sure it will be a very important point of discussion in future consultations", he said, suggesting that Thursday's framework agreement is likely a general agreement.

A report of the Defense Times published on Tuesday is said to be offering new details on China's ongoing military build-up in the South China Sea.