…..The uphill battle faced by ASEAN negotiators is revealed by recent statements made by Chinese officials. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who was visiting Bangkok to attend a China-ASEAN forum to mark the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the China-ASEAN strategic partnership, on Aug. 2 said that territorial disputes in the South China Sea should be resolved through bilateral talks. Three days later, he said the attitude harbored by some ASEAN countries that seek an early agreement on the code of conduct does not seem realistic or serious. He stressed the importance of holding detailed discussions so that consensus could be reached among all the countries concerned.
In 2002, ASEAN and China signed a declaration on the conduct of parties in the South China Sea, but it had no binding power. ASEAN hopes to upgrade the declaration to a legally binding code of conduct…..
Read more:Conduct in territorial disputes