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China, neighboring states closer to South China Sea deal

A final agreement could be made as soon as August. That was the latest development on the disputes of neighboring countries about the South China Sea or the West Philippine Sea.

south china sea

China and the Association of Southeastern Asian Nations (ASEAN) has started embracing the idea of settling on an agreement about the territory being questioned.

According to the Philippines’ Acting Foreign Minister Enrique Manalo, the talks started from zero back in January. On March 7, his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi announced the completion of the initial draft of the code of conduct.

Foreign Minister Manalo exclaimed that the process was at a very high level as of the moment. However, he also thought that it would be a bit early to determine and come up with conclusions about China’s plans about the territory.

Reports about the deal-in-the-making left Foreign Minister Manalo positive that China and the United Nations have agreed on the written clauses and sections of the code of conduct.

Meanwhile, President Duterte expressed his dismay in the “inaction” shown by the US government during the construction of artificial islands with complete military facilities.

President Duterte asked the US government on a speech, “Had America really wanted to avoid trouble, early on… why did you not send the armada of the [Japan-based] 7th Fleet which is stationed there in the Pacific?”

The president also asked US Ambassador Sung Kim during a meeting about the said situation. However, no answer was given.

On the contrary, China said that it would be best that the Western regions should not interfere with the arguments over the territory.

Among the countries that have been fighting over territorial claims over the South China Sea or the West Philippine Sea were China, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Rem Angelo P. Calilung is a freelance writer from Manila. He is now an up-and-coming journalist for GEOPOLMonitor focusing on Asian and European affairs.

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