Ministers adopt South China Sea code framework

The United Nations Security Council has agreed to more sanctions against North Korea

The United Nations Security Council has agreed to more sanctions against North Korea

Vietnam also wanted ASEAN to insist in the statement that a planned code of conduct for the sea with China be "legally binding", which Beijing opposes.

"The discussions are ongoing, so we are trying to find the consensus because that is the principle of Asean, having a consensus", Mr Bolivar said.

Also speaking to reporters, Mr Wang said the meeting went "very well".

Jennings also said that the United States embassy in Manila stated on Friday that the U.S. would push Southeast Asian countries to "downgrade diplomatic engagements and exchanges" with North Korea before the Asean Regional Forum which Tillerson would also be attending in Manila next week.

"If the situation in South China Sea is generally stable and if there is no disruption from outside parties, then we will consider during the Leaders' Meeting in November, we will jointly announce the official start of the COC consultation", Wang said during a news briefing at the Philippine International Convention Center.

Philippine government spokesman Robespierre Bolivar also announced the adoption of the framework and consensus on steps to start negotiations on the actual code.

Wang congratulated ASEAN on its 50th anniversary, saying China is happy for ASEAN's development and achievements while expressing best wishes for ASEAN's development in the next 50 years.

He affirmed Vietnam's consistent stance on the importance of peace, stability, overflight and maritime security and safety in the East Sea to peace and stability in the region.

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But diplomatic sources say that is not the case at all, and that Vietnam is alone in lobbying for stronger language on the South China Sea issue, with the Philippines as host and chairman of Asean 2017 taking a more diplomatic approach in light of President Rodrigo Duterte's preferred policy of cajoling, instead of openly confronting, China.

The issue was also likely to top the agenda when ASEAN ministers meet with their dialogue partners, including the United States, Japan, China and Russian Federation for Asia's largest security forum on Monday.

"The role they play is just to make sure that China just doesn't do what they want to do", Romualdez said on Thursday in Manila, referring to the USA military.

First, to formulate a 2030 Vision for China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership as a blueprint to guide future relations.

Foreign ministers in Manila over the weekend emphasized self-restraint in the South China Sea and reaffirmed their countries' commitment to a Code of Conduct in the region.

"The DOC has never been fully and effectively implemented".

Robespierre L. Bolivar, spokesman of the Philippines' Department of Foreign Affairs, said the foreign ministers "endorsed the framework of the code of conduct for eventual adoption at the ASEAN-China ministerial meeting on August 6".

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