South China Sea code of conduct draft approved

US stock indexes move higher in early trading; oil rises

The agreement was reached in a meeting between senior officials of the Association of South-East Asian Nations and China in the southern city of Guiyang, said Robespierre Bolivar, a spokesman for the Philippines' Department of Foreign Affairs. They started working on the Conduct Code in 2013 in a bid to enforce the dispute-resolving declaration. In the interim, China has angered rival claimants by seizing, expanding and militarizing islets and reefs in the Souh China Sea - transforming low-tide outcroppings into what have been dubbed "unsinkable aircraft carriers", all in apparent violation of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea. The actual provisions of the Code of Conduct are uncertain, as none of the parties have divulged any details since their announcement.

The permanent secretary of Singapore's foreign ministry, Chee Wee Kiong, said that what he called a "draft" framework would be submitted to a meeting of the foreign ministers of China and the ASEAN states in August in the Philippines. "It will provide a good foundation for the next round of consultations". "It will result in a massacre and it will just destroy everything", he said.

"Is it concerned about the stability of the South China Sea, or is it afraid of China-Philippines and China-ASEAN relations developing as the situation stabilizes?". The Philippine ambassador Chico Sta. China's delegation will be led by China's deputy foreign minister Liu Zhenmin.

"Before there was a superpower underpinning ASEAN, which made it a more hard strategic calculus for China to play", says Davies.

Duterte recently went to China and held a bilateral and restrictive meeting with Xi at the sidelines of the One Belt, One Road Forum.

More news: UK police threaten to arrest Assange if he leaves Ecuador embassy

A draft of the framework describes the projected agreement as "a set of norms to guide the conduct of parties and promote maritime cooperation in the South China Sea", adding it is "not an instrument to settle territorial disputes".

Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam and Taiwan also have overlapping claims. China appears to have installed the systems in order to protect the island from Vietnamese combat divers.

A drilling platform is extracting methane gas trapped in icelike crystals in the seabed of the South China Sea.

Beijing claims nearly all of the South China Sea including a cluster of islands, reefs and atolls further south called the Spratlys.

The plan sparked massive anti-Japanese protests across China, and Chinese Coastguard vessels and fishing boats began plying waters around the islands. Although China says it respects freedom of navigation in the strategically vital area, it objects to U.S. military activities, especially the collection of signals intelligence by USA craft operating near the coast of its southern island province of Hainan, home to several military installations.

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