During the past few weeks, China has significantly increased tension in East Asia by claiming “indisputable sovereignty” over the South China Sea.
The 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) wants to establish a formal code of conduct in the South China Sea to avoid tension around disputed territories, a senior Filipino diplomat said on Friday. Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, China and Taiwan all stake claims over territory in the South China Sea.
All except Brunei have a military presence in the area, and the boundary claims have sparked deadly naval clashes. 'We should start talking about the provisions of a regional code of conduct and this is to ensure that the South China Sea remains a peaceful and stable place where vessels can pass safely,' Erlinda Basilio, foreign affairs undersecretary for policy, told a media forum.
ASEAN wants formal code [Straits Times, 6 August 2010]