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China, ASEAN set sea dispute meeting

Manila, Philippines — Officials from China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states are scheduled to meet in the Thai city of Pattaya on April 21 to accelerate the process of formulating a Code of Conduct (CoC) in the disputed South China Sea.

The forthcoming meeting to be hosted by Thailand comes amid critical developments in the region, including China’s the declaration of an Air Defense Identification Zone in the disputed East China Sea, the implementation of Hainan Island’s new fishing regulations, and the rising tension in the South China Sea involving major claimants, including the Philippines’ decision to file a case against China’s claims in the West Philippine Sea before a United Nations-backed Arbitral Tribunal.

It was on September of the previous year that China and the ASEAN launched the official consultation on a CoC during the 6th China-ASEAN senior officials’ meeting and the 9th joint working group meeting on Implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct (DoC) of Parties in the South China Sea held in Suzhou, China.

Turning Point

The meeting was considered as a turning point as China expressed its willingness to work with the ASEAN for comprehensive and effective implementation of the DoC and steadily push forward consultations on a CoC.

During the discussions, Chinese and ASEAN senior officials agreed on the modality of moving forward and continue official consultations on the CoC on a regular basis, and make regular reports to Foreign Ministers.

They also tasked a Joint Working Group (JWG) to hold in-depth discussions on all aspects of the CoC, including consideration of expert services that would support the work of official consultations.

Last March, officials at the working level met in Singapore to review the progress and prepare recommendations for the Pattaya meeting.

During both meetings, the Philippines, one of the South China Sea claimants along with Vietnam, Malaysia, and Brunei, expressed its position that the CoC should be legally-binding and be developed through a deliberate process of intergovernmental negotiations.

The Philippines also called for respect for principles of the DoC, particularly the non-use of force or coercion.

For the Pattaya meeting, ASEAN and China are expected to hold in-depth discussion on at least six key common elements that could be incorporated in what could be the final CoC draft.

These include ways to strengthen political trust to ensure productive discussion, commitments to the principles laid down in the United Nations Charter, UN Convention on the Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS), Treaty of Amity and Cooperation, and other relevant documents.

  • Joseph Rizal

    China has asserted that they own most of the east and south China sea. I have yet to see or read about China partially giving in to any requests from their neighboring countries.
    Bottom line, this meeting is probably not about give-and-take, but about establishing code of conduct in their occupied territory.


  • Myth Buster

    Mang-gogood time lang yang mga SIRA-ULONG INTSIK na yan !!! It’s a sure thing they won’t listen ASEAN … They will continue to stick to their delusions…

  • Rehnan Fernandes

    Even with signed Code of Conduct, who can trust the COMMUNISTS? Simple….. for them, MIGHT IS RIGHT….who can trust the INHUMAN nature of these communists?

  • HEY china: RESPECT INT’L LAW..

    china, ASEAM set sea dispute meeting.
    The meeting was considered as a turning point as china expressed its willingness to work with the ASEAN for comprehensive and effective implementation of the DoC and steadily push forward consultations on a CoC.
    OK, let me quote this “china expressed its willingness to work with the ASEAN for comprehensive and effective implementation of the DoC and steadily push forward consultations on a CoC.
    Let’s give china a chance to prove their sincerity. Honestly, in my opinion, based on china’s behavior towards its neighbors these last several years, especially towards the FILIPINOS, I doubt so much that china will keep its word. I say this only because china broke its word so many times, promises to do one thing and does the other in their favor.
    Remember, in mid-2013 when the US played middle man between china and the PHILPPINES and both countries agreed to pull out their Navies from Scarborough Shoals? What happened? The PHILIPPINES, true to its word pulled out. china remained and cordoned or fenced off the area to prohibit Filipino fishermen from fishing in these areas.
    So, it will be very hard for the PHILIPPINES to trust china, but we (PHILIPPINES) being a responsible nation and people we are, will work with our ASEAN brothers for the sake of peace. Let’s see what happens.
    One more important thing. The PHILIPPINES arbitration against china will remain and once a final verdict is made in favor of the PHILIPPINES and ASEAN, then china has no other alternative but to vacate, leave, evacuate, and GET OUT of these reefs, shoals, islands and move all their (china’s) structures within their (china’s) 200 EEZ. china can demolish all its’ structures if they choose to. Just GET OUT.
    Any part of the ocean or sea beyond china’s 200 EEZ is international waters and therefore a free passage to friendly ships, both civilians and military without harassment or intimidation from any country.
    As I write this, china is occupying shoals and reefs within the PHILIPPINES 200 Mile Exclusive Economic Zone. PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT PNOY AQUINO stated what’s ours is ours, and that’s a fact.
    A reminder to china: china’s 9 dash line is RUBBISH, BOGUS, INVALID, FLAWD, and has NO BASIS in INTERNATIONAL LAW therefore china’s occupation of these areas is ILLEGAL and should be returned to the rightful owners – PHILIPPINES, VIETNAM, MALAYSIA.
    china owes VIETNAM an apology for murdering VIETNAMESE sailors years ago and china should pay financial compensation to the families and to the government of VIETNAM.
    It is time china start behaving, thinking, acting and talking like a responsible superpower, which china is far from.

    • balahura1

      asa pa talaga ha….bully na naman yan sa asean meeting promise!!!!!!

  • disqus_mdMMjsiaQM

    Inuunahan lang nilto ang Us phil Agreement, wag kayo paloko…. mga sinungaling yang mga yan

  • Lito Dacuyan

    well,considering the recent China’s assertiveness and their famous bullying conduct in their claims of islands and shoals in the territory of other nations across the sea…there may be less optimism on any favorable outcome of the forthcoming ASEAN-China meeting in Thailand.But there’s nothing wrong in trying …according to scientists..”.nothing is impossible under the sun”

    • Janusz

      And that is why it will be held in Pattaya, if you know what I mean.

  • i_am_filipino

    Beware of the double blade tongue of these nazy ugly chink