Defence

Wishful thinking on Code of Conduct for South China Sea

Rhetoric has come full circle in the dispute over the South China Sea but can the Philippines, the current chairman of Asean and a claimant state, deliver a peaceful solution for the area? So far, there is little to see apart from wishful thinking from Manila as it pledges to conclude the Code of Conduct (CoC) for the South China Sea by the end of this year.
 
Feb 11, 2017
Rhetoric has come full circle in the dispute over the South China Sea but can the Philippines, the current chairman of Asean and a claimant state, deliver a peaceful solution for the area? So far, there is little to see apart from wishful thinking from Manila as it pledges to conclude the Code of Conduct (CoC) for the South China Sea by the end of this year.
 
A joint working group of officials from China and Asean have agreed on a series of meetings to speed up the work towards creating an international legal instrument that would control the behaviour of the signatories in the contentious sea. But their actions reveal a different mindset.
 
China and many countries in South-east Asia have had territorial conflicts over the sea for several decades. China, however, asserted itself and occupied the Paracel and Spratly archipelagos in the 1970s and 1980s respectively. In addition to China, its rival Taiwan as well as Asean countries Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam are also claimants.
Asean began to use diplomatic tools to talk to China, with the aim of creating a climate of good practices in the South China Sea.
 
Read more at:http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/wishful-thinking-on-code-of-conduct-for-south-china-sea
 
The Strait Times, February 11, 2017

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