Published: Fri, May 26, 2017
World Media | By Joan Schultz

Taiwan should be included in South China Sea negotiations: rep


Anifah added that the framework would be made public once completed.

A report of the Defense Times published on Tuesday is said to be offering new details on China's ongoing military build-up in the South China Sea.

Asked whether the agreement would be binding, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin told reporters: "I can not give you a definite answer now". Just $5 a month.

"In the face of China's open threat of war to seize Philippine EEZ in the West Philippine Sea, an area larger than the total land area of the Philippines, the President can not simply do nothing, or worse acquiesce to China's action, for inaction is the opposite of protecting Philippine EEZ", Carpio said.

"The consultation on the COC started back in 2013 and over the past four years of concerted efforts, this process has been going on steadily and the completion of the COC framework has delivered a tangible milestone achievement with this process", he added.

In comments aired on state television, China's Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhemin said that the framework was inclusive and considered the concerns of all affected countries, calling on others not to interfere, referring to the U.S.

Indonesia maintains it has no maritime disputes with China in the South China Sea, unlike other Asian nations, and does not contest ownership of reefs or islets there. As Reuters delicately puts it, there is "regional skepticism whether Beijing will commit to rules likely to restrain its maritime ambitions".

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

On the heels of the ASEAN conference, the Philippines and China begin their own attempt to resolve their differences in the South China Sea today.

"The president can not simply do nothing, or worse acquiesce to China's action, for inaction is the opposite of protecting Philippine EEZ". Analysts have expressed disappointment over ASEAN's apparent soft stance on China's aggressive activities in the sea - with some saying this response could embolden Beijing to step up its incursion in the area, thereby undermining ASEAN's centrality. Most notably, in 2012, ASEAN leaders failed to issue a joint statement after a summit in Cambodia over these divisions.

The Navy said this year's exercises are being held in the South China Sea and are aimed at "increasing interoperability" between the two navies and also "developing common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations".

China does not recognize the ruling. 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.

China and ASEAN countries signed the declaration in 2002.

That draft does not call for a legally binding code of conduct as some ASEAN countries had called for, Storey said, potentially weakening its impact.

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