South China Sea code eyed by 2021

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A Chinese warship tried to drive away a Filipino-crewed commercial vessel that sailed near Scarborough Shoal in late September. But the Filipino captain of the Liberia-flagged oil tanker stood his ground, insisting on the vessel’s right to passage. The incident came as Southeast Asian nations were negotiating a code of conduct with Beijing to manage tensions in the South China Sea. The target is to finish the deal by 2021. But how will China’s actions affect negotiations? Retired ambassador Wilfrido Villacorta, former Philippine Permanent Representative to the ASEAN, shares his thoughts.

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