BEIJING: Representatives of Asean have urged China to settle disputes in the South China Sea through the International Court of Justice, and to speed up negotiations on a code of conduct.
The pro-chancellor of Malaysia’s Wawasan Open University, Koh Tsu Koon, said disputes that could not be solved through negotiations could be taken to the world court.
He said Asean members, as small countries, were concerned about the territorial disputes in the South China Sea and about the geo-politics (in the region).
“If China is so confident about its historical and legal basis of the claims in the disputed water, why does it hesitate to go to the International Court of Justice?,” he asked.
Koh’s remarks were made at a forum here on Southeast Asian Conflicts and Security Cooperation. He said said all Asean countries had accepted the world court as a common platform to resolve problems.
China has set out claims to the South China Sea that extend far south of its coastline reaching close to Borneo, and incorporating the strategic Spratly and Paracel islands, with competing and overlapping claims by Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines.