News Worms
News Worms


Vietnam, China avoid quarrel over South China Sea during visit

Vietnam, China avoid quarrel over South China Sea during visit

Chinese President Xi Jinping (L), also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, holds talks with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang in Hanoi, Vietnam, Nov. 13, 2017.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang sealed the accord with the ASEAN leaders in Manila, according to China's state-run Xinhua news agency.

The Chinese leader, however, would not back down on Beijing's territorial claim, Duterte said, and justified his decision not to immediately demand Chinese compliance with a ruling by a United Nations -linked tribunal that invalidated China's sweeping claims in the South China Sea on historical grounds.

China claims nearly the entire waters and has carried out reclamation work on a number of the disputed features before fortifying them with military installations over the past few years.

Reefs and islands in the South China Sea are disputed by Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan, as well as China and Vietnam.

China claims almost all of the strategically vital sea, through which $5 trillion in shipping trade passes annually.

China has in recent years built artificial islands and airstrips capable of hosting military installations in contested areas to cement its claims, inflaming tensions with its neighbours.

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. "I am a very good mediator", Trump said.

"If you go to the negotiating table and you start with the statement that I am here to claim validity of our ownership, you're wasting your time".

And China, which has long insisted the United States has no role to play in the dispute, spoke out against what it deemed foreign interference.

"China's greatest hope is for peace and stability in the South China Sea", Li told ASEAN leaders in Manila.

Trump was in Manila on Monday for meetings with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and several other countries.

However no timeframe was announced for an actual code.

According to the global tribunal in The Hague, China's historical claims have no legal basis, and some of the features it is claiming fall within the Philippines' exclusive economic zone under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The Philippines had for many years stood alongside Vietnam as one of the region's strongest opponents to Chinese expansionism.

The stop in the Philippines is the last leg of a tour that has taken Trump to Japan, South Korea and China as well as Vietnam, the longest Asia trip by a USA president in more than 25 years.

Critics accused Duterte of giving in to Beijing.

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