South China Sea code of conduct draft approved

South China Sea code of conduct draft approved

"The draft framework, which was completed ahead of the mid-2017 goal set by the leaders of ASEAN and China, contains elements which the parties have agreed upon", Bolivar said.

Liu said the draft framework of COC was not only done during the 14th Senior Official's Meeting but "it was an accumulated outcome of our efforts for the past several years".

On both occasions, Duterte welcomed billions of dollars in aid and investment pledges from China to help the Philippines build much-needed infrastructure such as dams, bridges and railways.

Ties between Manila and Beijing have seen a revival as Duterte pursued an independent foreign policy, steering the Philippines closer to non-traditional allies such as China and Russian Federation.

The proposal follows remarks by President Rodrigo Duterte that China was installing "some kind of armed garrison" on the disputed South China Sea islands it claims.

Chinese and Philippine officials discussed "sensitive and contentious issues" in the first round of direct bilateral talks on their disputes in the South China Sea yesterday.

The island is part of the small Natuna archipelago, remote Indonesian islands in the South China Sea, home to rich fishing grounds and abundant oil reserves.

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

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The framework now goes under intense scrutiny again to try to draft a final agreement.

The magistrate also expressed dismay at the government's apparent lack of conviction to use its victory in the arbitral court in connection with its territorial dispute with China.

The waters of the South China Sea are claimed by numerous countries, including Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam.

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.

When asked if the COC will be adopted in the next five years, Liu said it would be up to the ASEAN member countries. "Is it concerned about the stability of the South China Sea, or is it afraid of China-Philippines and China-ASEAN relations developing as the situation stabilizes?".

For the 10 ASEAN member states, meanwhile, the agreement offers a chance to freeze further Chinese advances in the region at a time when the Trump administration has turned its focus away from the region with the abandonment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other developments, Huang said. That ruling found that China's capacious nine-dash line claim in the South China Sea had no validity under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

"That is why the president kept asking the U.S. ambassador, 'are you with us or not?' He did not get a clear answer", he told CNN in an interview.

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

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