China calls draft pact on territorial feud a ‘breakthrough’

Marsha Scott
August 5, 2018

The "table-top" exercises at a Singapore naval base came ahead of the first naval drills between the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Beijing, scheduled for October.

Asean and Chinaon Thursday introduced a "single draft" that underpins all future negotiations for the Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea, where China and a clutch of Southeast Asian nations have overlapping claims.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Thursday tariffs will not resolve the trade imbalances that the United States says exist between the two economies and urged Washington to calm down and listen to the voice of the worldwide community.

Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) told reporters at the forum that China welcomed, and was willing to work with, the U.S. to help with faster development and better security in the region.

It is another significant progress on the negotiations of COC, Wang noted.

US military ships and jets patrol the waters, a presence that Washington maintains is created to promote freedom of navigation and overflight.

"The cooperation between Turkey and Japan is gaining momentum in many fields".

As this year marks the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the China-ASEAN strategic partnership, he also called for joint efforts to push for greater development in East Asian regional cooperation.

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In his speech, Mr Lee cited how it was a "leap of faith" that enabled the founding members of Asean to band together in 1967, when the foreign ministers of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand signed the Asean declaration in Bangkok.

However, he told reporters that the draft document does not mean that negotiations are over, or that all the competing claims over territory in the South China Sea are resolved.

"At our meeting in Singapore with Javad Zarif, Foreign Minister of Iran, we discussed bilateral and regional issues", he said.

"We exchanged views with Minister for Foreign Affairs Bishop on further developing economic relations, cooperation in the fight against terrorist organizations and regional issues", Cavusoglu wrote on Twitter.

Vietnam, for one, has been vocal in expressing concerns over China's transformation of seven disputed reefs into man-made islands, including three with runways, which now resemble small cities armed with weapons systems.

For one, ASEAN member states reaffirmed their commitment to deeper economic integration through various ASEAN-led initiatives, as well as the conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Regarding North Korea, Pompeo said pressure on Pyongyang should be maintained as concerns mount about the Kim Jong-un regime's willingness to denuclearise.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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