ASEAN hits China's reclamations, militarization

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However, Australia, the USA and Japan, have urged the signatories of the framework to ensure that it is legally binding and manifested their opposition to "coercive unilateral actions".

To fend off worldwide criticisms, China became positive about holding talks with ASEAN over relevant issues.

Wang said that, frankly speaking, he was disappointed by Kono's remarks expressing concerns about China's moves in the South China Sea, at a meeting of foreign ministers from the member countries of the East Asia Summit framework.

Undoubtedly, from the Chinese perspective, the U.S. -Australia-Japan joint statement seriously broke the top hidden rule of foreign diplomacy: never make others lose face publicly.

Foreign ministers from 27 countries attended the Asean regional forum, including Russia, China, Japan and Australia.

The framework seeks to advance a 2002 Declaration of Conduct (DOC) of Parties in the South China Sea, which has mostly been ignored by claimant states, particularly China, which has built seven manmade islands in disputed waters, three of which are equipped with runways, surface-to-air missiles and radars.

They called on "all claimants to make and clarify their maritime claims" and to "resolve disputes peacefully in accordance with the worldwide law of the sea".

The talks took place in the Philippines, during a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

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In a transcript of a statement by Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho, which was distributed to media in Manila, Pyongyang called new United Nations sanctions "fabricated" and warned there would be "strong follow-up measures" and acts of justice.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono later clarified that they were not implying that Philippines was not heeding the ruling, but they were noting it was an important and legally binding decision.

"The South China Sea doesn't only include the Spratly Islands, and for Vietnam, developments on the disputed Paracels are just as destabilising".

Southeast Asian diplomats told reporters that earlier drafts of the Asean statement was silent on China's island-building and militarisation of the South China Sea. Not only do they want the proposed code of conduct to be legally binding, but they've described China's activities as the "militarization of disputed features in a disputed sea".

A Southeast Asian diplomat told the AP on Sunday that Vietnam had pushed for stronger language despite opposition from numerous ministers, whose countries rely heavily on China for trade and investment.

This was followed by the call for a "Code of Conduct for the South China Sea", which was given its own acronym, "COC". They also called on China to respect an global arbitration ruling previous year that dismissed much of the country's claims in the sea.

But Wang said China will only agree to start negotiations on the sea code "if there is no more disruption from non-regional parties and when the situation in the South China Sea is generally stable".

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