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Beijing to ASEAN: Discuss code of conduct on sea row ‘gradually’

Ayungin Shoal INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

BEIJING — A code of conduct for handling disputes in the South China Sea should be discussed “gradually”, Beijing said after meetings with Southeast Asian nations, suggesting any agreement is still far off.

The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been trying for more than a decade to secure agreement from China on a legally binding code of conduct.

Beijing claims nearly all of the South China Sea, even waters approaching the coasts of neighboring countries, and has resisted agreeing to the code, wary of giving any concessions that may weaken its claim.

Tensions have mounted over the waters in recent years, with the latest spat over concrete blocks the Philippines says China has placed on the disputed Scarborough Shoal.

Senior officials from China and ASEAN held two days of talks over the weekend in the eastern Chinese city of Suzhou.

“All parties at the meeting… have agreed to gradually widen consensus and narrow divergences… and continue to steadily push forward the agendas on a code of conduct,” the foreign ministry said in a statement posted late Sunday.

A joint working group to carry out “concrete consultations” on the code was agreed, it added, giving no details or timetable.

Competing claims to the sea have for decades stirred tension in the region and the waterway, which is believed to sit atop vast deposits of oil and natural gas. It has long been seen as one of Asia’s potential military flashpoints.

China has refused to upgrade a 2002 “declaration of conduct” into a legally binding code, instead preferring to negotiate individually with each country.

The state-run China Daily on Monday lashed out at Manila for trying to “once again disrupt China-ASEAN consultations”, referring to the accusations over the concrete blocks.

“Manila’s irresponsible stance will only further estrange it in the region, as there is an irreversible trend to achieve appropriate solutions to the South China Sea disputes through consultation and bilateral cooperation,” it said in an editorial.

Beijing humiliated Manila last year by taking effective control of the disputed Scarborough shoal, just 200 kilometers (120 miles) from the Philippines.

The Philippines said in June it was looking to give the US — its former colonial ruler — and Japan greater access to its military bases, as it seeks to counter what it perceives as a growing threat from China.


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  • jun2012

    there you are again China, discuss it once and for all to finish the issue, what gradually you are talking about, it is simply buying your time to make it favorable for you, while you are encroaching in other territories which is not yours. China just follow the UNCLOS. What you are talking is entirely the opposite of what you are doing.

    • .Hugo.

      china has followed unclos, the philippines has not.

      if you don’t agree then please quote which unclos article has china violated.

      • Mel Manalo

        how about the 9-dash lie, where in UNCLOS is that?

      • .Hugo.

        the only relation with unclos will be the delimitation of china’s eez, as it is 200 nautical miles from chinese shores in the south china sea, meaning there is overlapping eez with the philippines, and therefore the philippines needs to negotiate with china on resource sharing arrangements.

        unfortunately what the philippines is to grab the nansha islands and refuse to negotiate with china.

  • Punyëtero»Ka

    China has unleashed it’s 50c Party trolls to try & tone down the discussion as they know they are in a very weak position. Witness the trolls at the start of the thread. They even try to befuddle with their most moronic troll hello_stupids aka rejenal pang, who insists the moon can only be reached by China & the U.S. faked all the moon landings in the 60s-70s! This is to warn people that he speaks unintellegible chinklish & copy-pastes those you can understand. Just a heads-up to make sure he doesn’t irritate you!!

    • crazy_horse_101010

      you mean the same guy who said japan made all the inca ruins in peru and said germany created the first stealth fighter before ww2. and the state of oregon was in portugal. that rejenal pang?

    • PagpagLasangPino-cchio

      Im sure PutangBataKaKoy is affected by this negro killer. Like all live like blackazzes similar to wild monkeys. ISn that the truth , PutangBata?

      • crazy_horse_101010

        there you are with your azz fetish remarks pervert. knew you couldnt stay away from them and that is the truth comrade buang buang. you are one sicko. thats what eating baby fetuses does to your little pea brain comrade

  • generaltso

    The whole history of science has been the gradual realization that events
    do not happen in an arbitration manner, …

    ——Stephen Hawking

    • crazy_horse_101010

      AND SO WHAT? people dont want to hear the truth. because they dont want their illusions destroyed friedrich nietzsche. i dont know what is worse people who lie or people who think i am stupid enough to believe the lies

    • Punyëtero»Ka

      Do you even have an inkling of what Hawkings mean? You’re a moron too so you don’t know the context whereof he speaks! HAHAHAHA!!

  • Punyëtero»Ka

    I hope you guys check out this article. The chinese 50c Party trolls are coming in & it’s good entertainment specially after a new issue appeared at rapplerDOTcom/nation/39104-us-navy-ships-in-subic-bay. I expect the Dean Of Bullshit, Hugo to make his appearance when his throwaway trolls like hello_stupids, generaltso, Andrew_pc, BakbakanNaKoy are boxed in! One of them even declared Japan surrendered to the U.S.after she nuked herself in WW2 to save face as China was the one who beat her! Let’s have fun!

    • PagpagLasangPino-cchio

      I sure PutangBataKaKoy is worried like a fellow negro. My condolence to you, putangbata!

      • Punyëtero»Ka

        Guys that fellow is a mythical beast..a black chink? Knows some Tagalog, tries to act tough & bluff everyone, tries to play off one region with another in the Philippines, but other than that, all talkee-talkee & also a motherfocking arsehole! HAHAHAHAHA!!

      • crazy_horse_101010

        my condolence to you when catch you and shoot you has a backstabbing traitor commie what no azz obsessive remarks from you. you just have to use racism this time

  • bugoybanggers

    Ayusin muna ang Defensa ng Pilipinas bago mag daldal. Bili na kasi!



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