Sunday, December 30, 2018

Talks To Begin Among Southeast Asian Nations On South China Sea

A map shows different nation's claims to the South China Sea.

Reuters: Tough South China Sea talks ahead as Vietnam seeks to curb China's actions

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Tough negotiations lie ahead over a new pact between China and Southeast Asian nations aimed at easing tensions in the South China Sea, as Vietnam pushes for provisions likely to prove unpalatable to Beijing, documents reviewed by Reuters suggest.

Hanoi wants the pact to outlaw many of the actions China has carried out across the hotly disputed waterway in recent years, including artificial island building, blockades and offensive weaponry such as missile deployments, according to a negotiating draft of the ASEAN Code of Conduct (COC) seen by Reuters.

The draft also shows Hanoi is pushing for a ban on any new Air Defence Identification Zone - something Beijing unilaterally announced over the East China Sea in 2013. Chinese officials have not ruled out a similar move, in which all aircraft are supposed to identify themselves to Chinese authorities, over the South China Sea.

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WNU editor: Here is an easy prediction. China is not going to compromise.

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