PH welcomes completion of draft framework for sea code of conduct
(Updated, 1:10 p.m) The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Friday welcomed the finalization of a draft framework for a Code of Conduct in South China Sea.
The draft, which seeks to prevent incidents in the disputed waters, was agreed upon by both China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).
“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,” the DFA said.
The agency said the draft framework will be presented for the consideration of the foreign ministers of Asean and China at a Post-Ministerial Conference in Manila in August this year.
“The Philippines reaffirms its commitment to working towards an effective Code of Conduct for the South China Sea,” the DFA said.
The Asean and China have been negotiating for a code of conduct for 15 years. In 2002, they adopted a non-binding Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, which was meant to pave the way for a legally binding code of conduct.
Of the Asean member states, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam have overlapping claims over South China Sea. The agreement is meant to deal with problems caused by their and China’s claims. China claims almost all of South China Sea and has resorted to building artificial islands in the area.
While the past administration filed an arbitral tribunal case against China’s claims and got a favorable ruling, President Rodrigo Duterte has sought friendlier relations with China. IDL
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