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US, Japan, Australia Support Rules for Behavior in South China Sea

10 Agosto 2017, 09:29 | Bibiana Flor

ASEAN Foreign Ministers Concerned Over Escalation on Korean Peninsula

Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha delivers his speech at the Prosperity For All Summit the parallel event of the 30th ASEAN Leaders Summit at metropolitan Manila Philippines on Friday

"With ASEAN itself divided and China's sway over individual ASEAN members growing", Glaser said, "this is an unsurprising even if disappointing development".

The United States, Australia and Japan immediately weighed in, urging China and ASEAN "to ensure that the code of conduct be finalized in a timely manner, and that it be legally binding, meaningful, effective, and consistent with global law".

"At first, there was a word in the framework of the COC about "not being legally binding".

However, China has used those 15 years to cement its claims, while pushing Asean to issue ever-weaker statements of opposition.

The U.S., Chinese and Japanese navies ended a three-day search for a missing sailor who was believed to have gone overboard in the South China Sea.

Concerns about China's expanding military influence in the South China Sea has led Vietnam and the United States to establish a new defense agreement, bolstering Vietnam's claims over the portions of the waterway near its shores, and expanding American influence in the region.

Wang's mention of the vague conditions can allow China to delay or halt the planned talks for any reason.

The three countries called on China and the Philippines to honor an arbitration ruling made past year.

Kono spoke through an interpreter, however, when he answered questions regarding contentious issues such as North Korea and the South China Sea. US officials rejected Beijing's call for the North to halt its nuclear program in exchange for the United States and South Korea suspending joint military exercises, which Pyongyang considers a prelude to an invasion and regime change.

Foreign ministers of ASEAN nations congratulated China on the success of the recent Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, thanked China for its support on ASEAN's community building, recognized the positive progress of ASEAN-China ties in the past year and agreed with the depth and achievements of the China-ASEAN relations.

Wang called for a resumption of the stalled six-nation talks - hosted by China and including the United States, Japan, Russia as well as the two Koreas - aimed at curtailing the North's atomic ambitions.

Singapore is not a claimant to any disputed part of the South China Sea but is home to the biggest port in Southeast Asia, and has made clear its open economy depends on continued free navigation in the area. China's other precondition before it agrees to start talks on the COC is that "the situation in the South China Sea should also be generally stable".

Then, in a surprise move late Sunday, they indirectly criticized Beijing's land reclamation and military fortifications in the disputed waters. But China, despite being a signatory to the UN's Convention on the Law of the Sea, ignored the ruling. One of the placards reads "President Duterte, where are the jet ski and Philippine flag in West Philippine Sea". Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said: "Recently, certain people, talking about the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, have been exaggerating and giving prominence to the so-called 'China responsibility theory'". They smiled amiably and made small talk but ignored a reporter's question about how the fresh USA sanctions against Russian Federation that President Donald Trump signed last week would affect their talks.



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