The Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN and China are unanimous in completing the standards of the code of conduct or COC to settle the South China Sea dispute. The COC is a binding agreement that ensures peace and stability in the region, parts of which the Philippines claims as the West Philippine Sea. Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs or DFA spokesman Charles Jose is confident that even China is onboard toward in this COC conclusion. The ASEAN foreign ministers are also scheduled to deal with the new leadership of the new US President.
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[VIDEO]: ASEAN and China vow to finalize a framework code of conduct in the South China Sea by mid-2017, Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose says
South China Sea Claim
Philippine Foreign Undersecretary Enrique Manalo explains that ASEAN, which the Philippines is chairing this year, aims to arrive at a framework COC within the year. This COC is a binding agreement to ensure peace and stability in the South China Sea conflict. The Philippines claims part of it as the West Philippine Sea.
The framework COC is a vital step towards finalizing the COC itself. The fresh momentum on the negotiations between ASEAN and China over a COC is a hope to finally conclude this already 10 years in the making agreement. The big push is only triggered recently. The reason why the framework must be finished by 2017. The final code of conduct relies heavily on the said framework.
Jose thinks that China is onboard this COC goal. The DFA spokesman tells this information to reporters as ASEAN foreign ministers prepare to meet in Boracay. One of the main agendas is the changes that the new leader of America brings. No clue yet on his COC thoughts but the news has it that US ships are patrolling the South China Sea.
China Respects Freedom of Navigation but Against Sovereignty Threats
The U.S. navy clarifies that the strike group, including the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier the USS Carl Vinson, conducts “routine operations” in the South China Sea recently amid growing tension with China over its control of the disputed waterway. China always respects the freedom of navigation and overflight under international law, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said. He stressed however that they consistently oppose to threats on its sovereignty and security under the flag of freedom of navigation and overflight.