SOME members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) had “serious concerns” about land reclamation in the South China Sea, according to a draft of the final communiqué to be issued at the end of their separate talks in
A statement was expected by the end of the day, senior officials said.
Member states had wrangled hard before finally agreeing on the wording of the communiqué.
The communiqué is expected to say that
It will also say that
“The joint communique should have been done by yesterday. It has not been finalised as of now,” Singapore Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam told a news conference in
“The paragraph relating to the
He declined to give details on the wording.
While some Asean foreign ministers feel that the South China Sea issue is too important to ignore, those from countries strongly allied with
Asean foreign ministers have met their counterparts from various countries including
An earlier draft communiqué said Asean was concerned about developments in the
It also expressed concern over the pace of negotiations in trying to agree a code of conduct that is intended to bind
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Wednesday that
Addressing a regional meeting in
“Freedom of navigation and overflight are among the essential pillars of international maritime law,” Kerry told the East Asia Summit attended by foreign ministers from
“Despite assurances that these freedoms would be respected, we have seen warnings issued and restrictions attempted in recent months,” Kerry said.
“Let me be clear: The United States will not accept restrictions on freedom of navigation and overflight, or other lawful uses of the sea.”
The Chinese navy also issued eight warnings to the crew of a
Kerry said he hoped
He added that Wang’s commitment to resolving the
“In my meeting with ... Wang Yi, he indicated I think a different readiness of
“But it’s a beginning, and it may open up some opportunity for conversation on this in months ahead. We’ll have to wait and see.”
STILL A VIOLATOR
Philippine Defense Department spokesman Peter Paul Galvez said
“Nonetheless, a stop in the reclamation doesn’t change the fact that they have violated the agreement among states, disrespected nations in the area and violated our maritime rights placing the region in crisis,” said Galvez.
Galvez referred to the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, which calls on the parties involved in the South China Sea dispute “to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability.”
“The region would be glad to see a genuine proof of sincerity. The best proof would be the pull out of all equipment as a clear and unequivocal manifestation of that announcement,” said Galvez.