• Wed
  • Dec 24, 2014
  • Updated: 8:17am

Asean

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or Asean, was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, with the signing of the Asean Declaration by Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Since then, membership has expanded to include Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. Its aims include accelerating economic growth, social progress and cultural development of its member states and the protection of regional peace and stability.

NewsChina
SOUTH CHINA SEA

Beijing tells Asean to be realistic in hopes for South China Sea code of conduct

Foreign Minister Wang Yi says China is open to dialogue on proposed code of conduct, but parties should keep their expectations in check

PUBLISHED : Monday, 05 August, 2013, 7:28pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 August, 2013, 8:41am

All parties with territorial disputes over the South China Sea should have "realistic expectations" and take "a gradual approach" to a proposed code of conduct aimed at defusing maritime tensions in the region, China's foreign minister said in Hanoi yesterday.

Wang Yi , who wraps up a six-day visit to four South East Asian countries today, said Beijing was open to dialogue on a Code of Conduct for the South China Sea (CoC), but warned that patience would be needed.

"Some countries are looking for a quick fix [to the disputes] and are hoping to thrash out a code in a day; this approach is neither realistic nor serious," Xinhua quoted Wang as saying yesterday.

The CoC involved multiple national interests and as such required a "delicate and complex" negotiating process, Wang added.

Analysts say Wang was referring to the Philippines's recent bid to take the maritime row to the United Nations in hope of solving it promptly.

One analyst believed Beijing did not want Manila to go to the UN. "It would attract too much attention. China would prefer to bind South China Sea claimants into a bureaucratic process that it can control, exploiting Asean disunity," said Alex Neill, a Shangri-la dialogue senior fellow at the International Institute of Strategic Studies.

Previous efforts to discuss the CoC failed because of "disturbances" from irrelevant parties, Wang said, in a thinly veiled message to the US, a long-term ally with the Philippines.

"Instead of making disturbances, parties should make efforts that are conducive to the process so as to create the necessary conditions and atmosphere," Wang said.

Wang stressed that any progress on the new framework would be dependent on countries following a confidence-building "declaration of conduct" agreed upon in 2002, which Beijing accuses Manila of violating.

The Philippines and Vietnam have led criticism of what they consider increasingly assertive claims by China in the South China Sea.

Top diplomats from both countries agreed last week in Manila to work closely to deal with their territorial disputes with Beijing. Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh also said that Hanoi supported Manila's move to take the issue of South China Sea disputes to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.

"Wang is trying to head off any unity among Asean [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations] members against China ahead of the next Asean summit [in October]," Neill said.

While China has been eager to smooth tensions with Vietnam, it has shunned Manila. In May, Wang visited Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and Brunei in his first official visits since the former ambassador to Japan was appointed foreign minister. The just-concluded trip covers Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and Laos. Last month, Beijing blasted Manila for turning to the UN to seek arbitration over their maritime disputes, and accused the country of provoking tensions.

"I could see why Wang would've wanted to refer to Manila [in his comments]," said Kerry Brown, professor of political science at the University of Sydney.

"China would have lots of reasons to utterly resist the UN being dragged in, as they would argue this is an internal issue, and for the Philippines to try to use this as leverage would seem to them to be theatrical posturing,"

 

Share

Related topics

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
9

This article is now closed to comments

babyhenry
yeah, like no banana and mangoes for you Chinese eh? ooo the Chinese must be very afraid.
romel.bernardo.315
Teach Philippine a lesson??? hahaha you must be dreaming. Philippines will teach China a lesson.
andypl
The Phillipines hates Chinese. simple as that. If you go visit, you will hear rampant discrimination and condescension towards Chinese all the time. Its about time for China to teach them an economic lesson they won't forget. Does HK really need these maids ? Ban all Phillipino maids for 5 years and you will get their attention.
trisha.trish.5
Filipino Celebrities have a message to the Filipinos regarding the China Conflict
CHANGE THE WORLD by FILIPINOS UNITE(FU)
****www.youtube.com/watch?v=geJueQtKlaU
lucifer
"realistic" means "accept that China owns the entire South CHina Sea, then we can talk about letting you sail through it..."
Good luck with that.
Aircraft Carrier: $2 billion
Shore to Ship misile: $900,000
bolshoi
@romel.bernardo.315: Who cares who will teach whom? Any lesson is good. I am looking forward to it. :)
siulun2050
Teach China a lesson? How? By unleashing the full might of the US military?
RaphaelLagdameo
The Philippines and The Chinese government do disagree with each but Filipino's don't hate Chinese. We have Chinese restaurants, malls, and other business establishments in the Philippines. Believe or not even our current President has some Chinese heritage in him. Filipino's don't hate Chinese we just don't like what the government is doing very,much. Being part Chinese myself I have never come across anything that you have been claiming. We even have huge Chinatown in our Capital that's the oldest China town in the world.
andreaswagner
And the Hongkies would have to actually work again? That won't happen:)

Login

SCMP.com Account

or