Don't tell us what to do, PH tells countries on sea dispute

Don't tell us what to do, PH tells countries on sea dispute

Bearing in mind Japan's support for the United States' freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea, Wang said he felt like Kono had made the remarks on a mission given by the United States.

With their joint efforts to reach agreement, China and the members of ASEAN have also sent a strong message to the worldwide community that they are fully capable of handling issues of common concern in the region without any interference from a third party. Thanks to our considerate efforts, the current situation in the South China Sea is showing positive momentum.

The diplomat says the South China Sea may be settled faster and will likely not carry sensitive issues that China objects to because the ministers are aware of Beijing's crucial economic and trade relations with ASEAN member states.

According to Japanese government sources, in the EAS foreign ministers' meeting, Kono said regarding China's military buildup in the South China Sea, "We strongly oppose any unilateral acts to try to change the status quo based on military power".

China's approach to working with the other ASEAN countries is dismissive at best.

There was mention in the ASEAN communiqué of a proposed Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea, aimed at maintaining peace in the region through self-restraint in settling disputes.

They also urged claimants to refrain from land reclamation, construction of outposts and militarization of disputed features, in a veiled reference to China's expansion of its defense capability on Mischief (Meiji, 美濟礁), Fiery Cross (Yongshu, 永暑島) and Subi (Jhubi, 渚碧礁) reefs in the Spratly Islands (Nansha Islands, 南沙群島).

Asean ministers are now meeting in Manila for the 50 ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting.

Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn has reaffirmed Cambodia's stance of taking no sides in territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

The Chinese certainly seem happy with the situation, with Foreign Minister Wang Yi touting the framework as a diplomatic coup and a sign of "really tangible progress" on the dispute.

They also called on China and the Philippines to respect last year's ruling by an worldwide arbitration tribunal, which dismissed most of Beijing's claims to the sea.

"However, there is sentiment across ASEAN that for this engagement to be truly productive and beneficial not just to ASEAN but to our region and the world, we need to ensure that there is a mutual openness and communication amongst us", Cayetano said.

"I will call for demilitarisation in the South China Sea", he said on Sunday.

"We sent a message to them that all ASEAN countries are not happy with the actions of North Korea that still continue to violate the United Nations resolution", he told reporters, referring to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The meeting with Ri Yong-Ho took place ahead of the East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers' meeting in the capital, Manila.