South China Sea code of conduct draft approved

China installs rocket launchers on disputed South China Sea island Report

China installs rocket launchers on disputed South China Sea island: report

Japan said Friday it scrambled fighter jets after a Chinese vessel sailing in disputed waters launched a drone, the latest bout of tension in a longstanding territorial row.

Senior officials of ASEAN and China convened the 23rd consultations in the Chinese province of Guizhou on May 19 to review their cooperation across the fields and outline specific tasks for the near future.

This photo taken on June 7, 2014 shows fishing boats anchored at Ulugan Bay, near the mouth of the South China Sea, off Puerto Princesa on Palawan island. Liu, however, when asked by reporters if the framework would be binding, noted that he could not give a definite answer. Just $5 a month.

The draft establishes a solid foundation for the next round of negotiations, said Liu Zhenmin, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, at a press conference. This while deviating from the country's long-standing ties with the United States.

Thursday's declaration follows an April ASEAN leaders' meeting that notably excluded any reference to China's assertive behavior in the South China Sea, including its construction of seven artificial islands in the Spratly group.

In its terms of reference released Friday, the consultative body said the two countries would use the BCM to promote maritime cooperation and security in the disputed waters, as had been agreed following President Rodrigo Duterte's visit to Beijing past year.

As South China Sea analysts await the public release of the framework, several questions persist about the nature of the agreement.

The agreement suits China's goal of managing rather than solving the disputes, with Beijing still certain that it will eventually reach solutions through bilateral talks, Huang said.

China pledged to support ASEAN's central role and help the grouping carry out the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and goals on narrowing development gap, building infrastructure, strengthening connectivity and regional integration, especially via effectively utilising joint funds between ASEAN and China and funding from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

China installed new "anti-frogmen" rocket launchers on Fiery Cross Island, which is claimed by China, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Taiwan.

Mr Duterte has been criticised for not pushing China on an global court decision that ruled largely in favour of the Philippines' claims in the South China Sea. The award resolved a case that the Philippines under Aquino had filed in early 2013 after the highly publicized 2012 stand-off with Beijing over Scarborough Shoal.

Experts say China wants to appear to engage Asean or bind its claimant states to a weak code at a time when U.S. policy on the South China Sea is in a state of flux. The actual provisions of the Code of Conduct are uncertain, as none of the parties have divulged any details since their announcement. That document noted that "the adoption of a code of conduct in the South China Sea would further promote peace and stability in the region".

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