USA destroyer challenges China's claims in South China Sea

SE Asian ministers endorse framework of S. China Sea code

SE Asian ministers endorse framework of S. China Sea code

Last week, the US government provided two brand new Cessna 208B surveillance planes to be used in South China Sea maritime monitoring.

OUTSIDE SUPPORT In its defiance of China, Vietnam found support from the foreign ministers of the U.S., Japan and Australia, who also attended the ASEAN forum. What the ASEAN ministers agreed on with China was the adoption of a framework to help them begin the substantive negotiation on the actual provisions of the COC.

As a sign of China and ASEAN relations, the trade hit the United States dollars 450 billion mark last year and the flight grew to 2,700 last year connecting China to the 10 ASEAN nations.

He added: "The problem with legally binding is: What are the penalties?" ASEAN wants a binding pact, while China prefers settling issues at the negotiating table, where it can wield its economic and political clout, rather than in court.

Regarding the East Sea issue, Vietnam has upheld the spirit of solidarity and a common voice of the ASEAN community to prevent different viewpoints from affecting the atmosphere of cooperation and outcomes of the meetings, while firmly protecting the country's interests.

Mr Cayetano also revealed that the Philippines had pushed to drop references to "land reclamations" and "militarisation" in the South China Sea in the joint communique, as insisted upon by Vietnam, as these were directed at Beijing.

U.S. warns North Korea to avoid destruction of its people
Trump said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was not going to get away with his "horrific" comments and disrespecting America. Trump threatened North Korea with "fire and fury" in return.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano forefronts economic progress as the reason why the ASEAN foreign ministers, in their statement on Tuesday, did not highlight the arbitral ruling favoring Philippines over China in the West Philippine Sea dispute.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USS John S. McCain traveled close to Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals.

"We emphasized the importance of non-militarization and self-restraint in the conduct of all activities by claimants and all other states, including those mentioned in the [Declaration of Conduct] that could further complicate the situation and escalate tensions in the South China Sea", the joint communiqué read.

Contrary to the statements of Cayetano and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi that Beijing has stopped reclaiming in the South China Sea, a Washington-based think tank released satellite imagery showing that Beijing did not stop its reclamation activities in mid-2015.

While supporters of the ASEAN-China agreement see it as a belated step forward, critics say it offers little that is fundamentally different from the nonbinding and ignored 2002 declaration.

"Both Beijing and Hanoi have undertaken dredging and reclamation work as recently as early 2017".

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