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.
Cathedral of Our Lady Help also burned by ISIL-linked militants in southern city of Marawi
Philippines need modern weapons to fight militants, Duterte says
The announcement, made by his spokesman at a press conference in Moscow where Duterte was on an official visit, fulfils an often-repeated warning by the president that he would enforce military rule to quell security threats.
Jakarta’s former governor Purnama was awarded two-year imprisonment on charges of blasphemy
Muslim leaders build Islamic school in troubled Mindanao to help government’s anti-terror campaign
Taliban claim they killed up to 35 soldiers in southern Kandahar province
China -- the North's sole major diplomatic ally and key trading partner -- has stopped buying coal from it, denying the regime access to a key source of the hard currency needed to fund its weapons programmes.
Historic trial underway at Seoul Central District Court
The nine Royal Malaysian Navy crew members, who had been missing since Saturday off the southern state of Johor near Singapore, had earlier been spotted by an airforce plane.
Seoul presses ahead with dialogue policy, despite second missile test
Sirisena swapped the portfolios held by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera in a shake up aimed at quelling dissent within the uneasy government he has led since August 2015.
"The situation on the Korean peninsula is complex and sensitive. We urge all sides to avoid provoking each other and continue on the right track of dialogue and consultation," she said.
The US, South Korea and Japan sharply denounced the launch and jointly requested an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council on the matter.
A suspected car bomb was detonated at the entrance to the Big-C shopping centre in downtown Pattani on 9 May
The small boat, from the warship KD Perdana, disappeared on Saturday in calm waters off Cape Sedili in the southern state of Johor.
More than 120 climbers have successfully summited Everest from the south side so far this season with another 80 reaching the peak from the Tibet side.