Asean determined to have South China Sea code - DFA | Global News

Asean determined to have South China Sea code – DFA

/ 08:58 PM February 20, 2017
South China Sea defense

In this undated file photo released by Xinhua News Agency, a Chinese H-6K bomber patrols the islands and reefs in the South China Sea. China is pitted against smaller neighbors in multiple disputes over islands, coral reefs and lagoons in waters crucial for global commerce and rich in fish and potential gas and oil reserves in the South China Sea. AP FILE PHOTO

BORACAY ISLAND — The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) is fully committed to come up with a Code of Conduct on the South China Sea (COC) more than 14 years after the signing of of a non-binding declaration of conduct.

“There is no change in the Asean position,” said Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Enrique Manalo in a briefing here on Monday.


He said the Asean-member states have been united in coming with a legally binding COC and the full implementation of the Declaration of Conduct (DOC) on the South China Sea.

He said the member states as well as China have been hoping to come up with a framework on the COC by this year.


There has been “more determination to proceed to finalize the COC framework as soon as possible and proceed to actual negotiations on the COC,” Manalo said.

The DOC was signed on Nov. 4, 2002 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, by Asean-member states and China as a measure to help prevent and settle territorial disputes involving the South China Sea.

It declares among others that countries should “refrain from inhabiting presently uninhabited islands, reefs, shoals, cays, and other features, and handle their differences in a constructive manner.”

But Asean-member states including the Philippines have protested the building of structures by China in the disputed territory.

While there were still no discussions on the COC framework, Manalo said the COC framework would be based on the DOC.

He gave an update on the Senior Officials Meeting in preparation for the Foreign Ministers Retreat set on Feb. 21.

He said the meeting of the senior officials involved discussions on Asean community building, conduct of Asean summits, external relations and milestone anniversaries of the regional body as well dialogues with non-Asean countries.


The Foreign Ministers Retreat, to be chaired by Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay, is the first major meeting of the Asean this year under the chairmanship of the Philippines, which coincides with the 50th founding anniversary of the regional body.

Established on Aug. 8, 1967, the Asean is composed of 10 member states: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. It aims to promote regional cooperation on economic, political and security concerns.

Yasay will hold a briefing for journalists on the highlights of the meeting on Tuesday afternoon, according to the DFA.

Foreign Affairs spokesperson Charles Jose earlier said that regional integration as well as security concerns including terrorism and illegal drugs would be among the issues to be tackled in the retreat.

He said common challenges including “transnational crimes like terrorism, violent extremism, human trafficking and illegal drugs” would be discussed in the meeting.  SFM

Subscribe to our global nation newsletter

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: ASEAN, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Charles Jose, China, Code of Conduct on the South China Sea, Declaration of Conduct on the South China Sea, Department of Foreign Affairs, Diplomacy, Enrique Manalo, Foreign affairs, geopolitics, International relations, Perfecto Yasay, Philippine government, Philippines, South China Sea, territorial disputes, Territories, West Philippine Sea
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

© Copyright 1997-2022 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.