Code of conduct on South China Sea will have no teeth

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The COC framework was agreed upon in May during a senior officials' meeting on the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in Guiyang, southwest China's Guizhou Province.

Meanwhile, Wang yesterday canceled a scheduled one-on-one meeting in Manila with his Vietnamese counterpart, Pham Binh Minh, because China was upset over the wording of a communique released by ASEAN foreign ministers on Sunday night that expressed concern over land reclamation on disputed islands, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is not public.

The foreign ministers also expressed the anticipation that as China and ASEAN celebrate the 15th anniversary of the establishment of strategic partnership next year, the two sides would strengthen strategic synergy, deepen cooperation in economy, trade, innovation, connectivity, tourism and other areas so as to bring the strategic partnership to a new level.

China claims almost all of the sea, through which $5 trillion in annual shipping trade passes, and its artificial islands have raised concerns it could eventually build military bases there and establish de facto control over the waters.

China had always been perceived as delaying negotiations with the association for the maritime code to allow it to launch and complete its land reclamations in the South China Sea without any such regulatory restrictions.

The joint communiqué, one of 32 outcome documents from the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting and Related Meetings, reflects the consensus of the ministers on issues concerning the region.

China scored a diplomatic "slam dunk" on the South China Sea issue when Southeast Asian nations issued a diluted statement on the dispute and agreed to Beijing's terms on talks.

The tribunal ruled that the Spratlys - the main territory under dispute in the sea - were not islands, rather reefs, and "cannot generate maritime zones", or extend China's territorial claims, as maintained by Beijing.

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The "dual suspension" argument was first floated in March, when foreign minister Wang Yi spoke to reporters in Beijing.

That's right Semin... China's foreign minister Wang Yi said he was "disappointed" with Taro Kono's call for Beijing to adhere to worldwide law regarding its military base construction in the South China Sea.

Cayetano also said the country had no intention of raising the ruling any time soon, "because we won't make any progress".

In June, China cancelled a military gathering between the two countries, possibly over South China Sea disputes.

China's claims of sovereignty over the South China Sea were entirely rejected by a decision handed down by a court of arbitration in July previous year.

The award would form the "basis of other various decisions to come based on the UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Seas)", Kono said in a press conference later.

In a meeting with North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong Ho, Wang said he told his counterpart 'not to violate the United Nations decision or provoke the worldwide community's goodwill by conducting missile launches or nuclear tests.

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