News / Asia

China Agrees to Discuss 'Code of Conduct' Rules

An aerial photo shows Chinese marine surveillance ships Haijian No. 49 (front) and Haijian No.50 cruising in the East China Sea, as the islands known as Senkaku isles in Japan and Diaoyu islands, April 23, 2013.
An aerial photo shows Chinese marine surveillance ships Haijian No. 49 (front) and Haijian No.50 cruising in the East China Sea, as the islands known as Senkaku isles in Japan and Diaoyu islands, April 23, 2013.
Simone Orendain
This week the Association of Southeast Asian Nations appeared to make progress on addressing territorial disputes in the South China Sea. Following meetings in Brunei, the group announced that China had agreed to discuss a set of rules known as the “code of conduct” to avoid conflict in the disputed waters.

Last year's ASEAN forum ended without a consensus because of squabbles over the South China Sea. The group concluded its meetings without a joint statement for the first time in its history.

This year, the joint communiqué emphasizes adhering to an 11-year-old non-binding agreement among China and the 10-member states to peacefully handle competing claims in the South China Sea. It also calls for “formal consultations” on a code of conduct in September in Beijing. The talks are expected to take place among lower level officials and focus on steps to avoid conflict. They are not expected to discuss the territorial disputes.

Philippine Foreign Affairs Spokesman Raul Hernandez says the country welcomes this development.

“And that is exactly what we have been pushing for, for a long time now, that we should be able to conclude a code of conduct with China in order to govern the activities in the West Philippine Sea,” he said.

Hernandez uses Manila’s local name for the South China Sea.

Relations between the Philippines and China chilled significantly after a two-month standoff last year between their ships at Scarborough Shoal, which the Philippines says is well within its 370-kilometer exclusive economic zone, as designated by international law. Then this May, Chinese civilian ships and a frigate were seen in the vicinity of Second Thomas Shoal, which the Philippines claims.

China, Taiwan and Vietnam claim practically the entire sea, while the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei have partial claims. The sea is believed to be rich in oil and natural gas, with abundant fishing and well-traveled sea lanes.

Of the claimants, the Philippines has been the most vocal about alleged Chinese encroachment into its waters. This week Foreign Minister Albert del Rosario denounced what he called China’s “increasing militarization” of the sea. The comment came after Chinese state media warned of a “counterstrike” against the Philippines if it continues to provoke Beijing.

Security analyst Carl Thayer of the Australia Defense Force Academy says this year’s ASEAN gathering is more cohesive because foreign ministers from countries without any sovereign stake in the sea worked hard to build unity after last year’s meeting.

“Overwhelmingly Indonesia has taken a role." he said. "Thailand has picked up the ball as country coordinator and tried to move it. And China is trying to not be isolated and not have the issue internationalized to an even greater extent. And there’s a new leadership change in China and it’s responding to these changes.”

Thayer says China’s agreement to consultations on a more binding code is a step in the right direction.  But he says a lot will depend on how firmly it will commit to the terms of the code.

You May Like

Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Samurai from: Japan
July 07, 2013 12:10 AM
Even today, Chinese ships are invading Japanese inherent waters. Chinese, thanks for your time-and-money-wasting jobs. We Japanese will never allow Chinese to invade our territories. Let's Chinese remember that Japanese navy completely beat out Chinese navy in Sino-Japan (Yellow-sea) battle.

by: Anonymous
July 06, 2013 2:18 PM
china and russia are the troublemaker in asian .them has been to impact to asian of others countries policy . the china of communist government always an liar.
the example is hongkong

by: defense china
July 06, 2013 2:11 PM
it's not discrimination of mainland of china.. but china and russia has been layout troops in asia pacific.. so USA must rebuild and deployment asian of troops with NATO for defense.( with allies of asian could sharing troops bases cost for save cost)
please rebuild troops in taiwan and philipine. and enhance japan and south korea of armament in USA bases for ensure benefit of USA during asian

by: i hate china from: taiwan
July 06, 2013 1:49 PM
compose an island common defense allies agreement .to defense russia and china communist. now the russia and china has been impact asian of safely in other democracy countries. however the agreement need USA joint all asian of allies and commucation and connect independent taiwan、 south korea with japan and philipine for troops base. continue and rebuild troops in taiwan and philipine bases about USA troops

by: Mhey from: Cordillera
July 06, 2013 4:58 AM
West Philippine sea belongs to Philippines,period!China get out from our territory.
In Response

by: jonathan huang from: canada
July 07, 2013 12:29 PM
the west phili sea is only about 10 miles wide. LOL

by: Demchigdonrov from: Mongolia
July 05, 2013 2:47 AM
I'm afraid that Chinese once agree with the code of conduct but not observe it. The rest of the world should not rely on Chinese who never respect international laws, other countries' sovereignty, and even ethics and morals.
In Response

by: Liu Yang from: China
July 05, 2013 9:21 PM
Yeah, that's why China built a Wall to keep the Monglian out, for fearing that they loot our city, rape our women, steal our land.
To the Amricans, you're the last one one earth to point fingers at China at any issue regarding the South China Sea. All the disputes involved were rootes of the US strategy of contain the communism countries after the Second World War
In Response

by: Ian from: USA
July 05, 2013 1:31 PM
You are absolutely right . It is in their "Art of war" book . Steal , rob , cheat , & misleading are Chinese's trick of the trade .
Just read the comment from the Chinese comrade "anonymous" below saying "South China sea belongs to China" Anyone could see clearly the vision of the so called China 's peaceful rise

by: Anonymous
July 05, 2013 2:16 AM
South China See belongs to China.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More