World Bulletin / News Desk
China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have agreed on a framework for a code of conduct in the South China Sea, a long-anticipated move to ease the tension in the disputed waters.
Reached at a meeting between Chinese and ASEAN officials in the Chinese city of Guiyang on Thursday, the agreement will serve as a guideline for a final agreement.
In comments aired on state television, China’s Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhemin said that the framework was inclusive and considered the concerns of all affected countries, calling on others not to interfere, referring to the U.S.
Philippines welcomed the completion of the drafting of the framework.
"We reaffirm our commitment to completing an effective Code using this agreed upon framework as the basis," Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Robespierre Bolivar was quoted as saying by local ABS-CBN News.
Chinese and ASEAN officials will meet in August in the Philippines to submit the agreed framework.
Beijing claims almost all of the South China Sea including a cluster of islands, reefs and atolls further south called the Spratlys. Other sovereign entities such as Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have rival claims on the waters.
China has built man-made islands on seven reefs in the sea, a move that has sparked tensions and triggered concerns among several nations, including the U.S.
The area is a critical asset for global shipping and fishing, as it sees over $5 trillion in maritime trade every year.
Army uses live ammunition, rubber bullets to disperse stone-throwing Palestinians in West Bank, Gaza
"Deal of the Century" refers to a back-channel U.S. plan to settle the Palestine-Israel dispute
Interior Minister Alfonso Navarrete and Alejandro Murat, governor of the state of Oaxaca, were on their way to survey the scene of the destruction left by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake when the accident occurred, the interior ministry tweeted.
The arrival of Trump and his wife Melania came at the end of a difficult day for the families of those killed in Wednesday's rampage at a high school in Parkland, Florida, who learned that the carnage could perhaps have been averted.
Trump to consider report suggesting high tariffs or quotas on steel and aluminum imports
Tanks to be integrated into Iraqi armed forces 'within days', Defense Ministry source says.
Army uses teargas and live ammunition to disperse stone-throwing Palestinians in West Bank city of Nablus
Jens Stoltenberg speaks about recent events near the Kardak islets in Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece
Israeli authorities arrested resistance icon last summer for allegedly 'inciting violence'
After snap election last month in Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, 4 parties form new coalition government
Rex Tillerson also plans to meet Lebanese PM and parliament speaker before wrapping up regional tour in Turkey
UN envoys of Washington and Moscow blamed each other for atrocities in Syria
Communities suffering from high suicide rates among youth, unsafe drinking water
Police identify 19-year-old former high school student Nikolaus Cruz as suspected shooter