South China Sea code of conduct draft approved

Posted May 20, 2017

Beijing may simply be trying to signal that progress is being made on the South China Sea, given its stance that disputes in the waters should be addressed directly by the parties involved.

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte revealed Friday that China had warned him that it is prepared for war if the Philippines upholds its sovereignty over the disputed territories in the South China Sea.

Chinese Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Liu Zhenmin and Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago L. Sta.

China-Philippines relations have seen "a handsome turn around", Liu told the press Thursday, adding that China highly appreciates the positive, friendly and constructive attitude adopted by the Duterte government.

It did not mention Manila's victory a year ago before a United Nations-backed arbitration court, which ruled that China's claims on the disputed waters did not have legal basis.

"I think that will be covered by the bilateral consultative mechanism", Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella told reporters at Malacañang.

Also at the opening of the meeting, Mr Romana noted that on Thursday, Asean and China had agreed on a draft framework for a Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea.

Subi Reef at Spratly Islands: Subi Reef has transformed from a single building and cranes on an artificial sand bank to what looks look a forward operating base with its own town.

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. Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano played down the importance of a legally binding contract. But I'm saying let's start with it being a binding, gentlemen's agreement.

According to the tribunal's ruling, it found no evidence that China had historically exercised exclusive control over the waters or resources within the Nine-Dash Line.

This will be held after the ASEAN-China Senior Officials Consultation also on May 19. "There is a community arrangement wherein all of us signed". For their part, the Association nations took a notably softer stance against Chinese development of disputed islands, abandoning complaints about "land reclamation and militarization" at their April 30 summit meeting that were part of the previous year's declarations.

"Both sides reviewed their experiences on the South China Sea issue". They are controlled by Japan but claimed also by China. That document noted that "the adoption of a code of conduct in the South China Sea would further promote peace and stability in the region".

During the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing earlier this week, the leaders of Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam expressed willingness to enhance cooperation with China and maintain regional peace and stability, she said.

The Philippines and China are locked in a dispute in South China Sea where around US$5 billion worth of trade passes through.