[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

China says no rush to sign maritime accord

Foreign minister warns neighbours not to have "unrealistic expectations" regarding South China Sea pact.

Last Modified: 05 Aug 2013 13:57
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said the deal could not be "agreed on overnight" [Reuters]

China is in no rush to sign a proposed agreement on maritime rules with Southeast Asia which would govern behaviour in the disputed South China Sea, the Chinese foreign minister has said.

After years of resisting efforts by the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to start talks on the proposed Code of Conduct (CoC), China said it would host talks between senior officials in September.

Speaking in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said on Monday that more work on the CoC was needed.

Certain countries are hoping that the CoC can be agreed on overnight. These countries are having unrealistic expectations.

Wang Yi, Chinese foreign minister

"China believes that there should be no rush. Certain countries are hoping that the CoC can be agreed on overnight. These countries are having unrealistic expectations," China's official Xinhua news agency paraphrased Wang as saying.

Previous efforts to discuss the Code of Conduct had failed "due to disturbances from certain parties", Wang said, without naming any countries.

"Instead of making disturbances, parties should make efforts that are conducive to the process so as to create the necessary conditions and atmosphere," Wang said.

Tensions over resources

Friction over the South China Sea, one of the world's most important waterways, has surged as China uses its growing naval might to more forcefully assert its vast claims over the oil- and gas-rich sea, raising fears of a military clash. 

Four ASEAN nations, including Vietnam and the Philippines, have overlapping claims with China.

China and the Philippines accuse each other of violating the Declaration of Conduct (DoC), a non-binding confidence-building agreement on maritime conduct signed by China and ASEAN in 2002.

Such differences could be another obstacle to agreeing on a more comprehensive pact as China has stressed that countries must first show good faith by abiding by the DoC.

Critics say China is intent on cementing its claims over the sea through its superior and growing naval might, and has little interest in rushing to agree to a code of conduct.

334

Source:
Reuters
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Friends of Steven Sotloff, allegedly the second journalist shown in Islamic State beheading video, call for his release.
Cut off from bulk of Tunisia's economic development, residents of rural towns are creating their own opportunities.
Craft breweries see rising sales, challenging large corporations for a bigger taste of Mexico's $20bn beer market.
Questions of colonialism after Malawi opts for English as medium of instruction in schools rather than local languages.
Frustration grows in Kiev as pledges to end corruption and abuse of power stagnate after Maidan Square protest.
join our mailing list