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US, Australia, Japan slam Beijing for militarisation of south China Sea

08 Août 2017

The ministers called on China and the Philippines to abide by the Arbitral Tribunal's 2016 Award in the Philippines-China arbitration, as it is final and legally binding on both parties.

Two Southeast Asian diplomats say disagreements over North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile tests and territorial disputes in the South China Sea have prevented the region's top diplomats from promptly issuing their joint communique after an annual summit in Manila over the weekend.

When it comes to the conflict about the ownership claims of the South China Sea, Vietnam has emerged as the most vocal opponent of China's claims in the waterway.

The Chinese embassy officials gave no reason for the cancellation of the meeting scheduled for Monday in Manila between China's Wang Yi and Vietnam's Pham Binh Minh.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said: "Recently, certain people, talking about the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, have been exaggerating and giving prominence to the so-called 'China responsibility theory'".

Asia is "no longer immune" to threats of terrorism, following attacks by Islamic State-backed militants in the southern Philippines, South Korea's foreign minister said Monday, ahead of a regional security forum in Manila. It showed pictures of them shaking hands.

The ruling, however, has been downplayed by the current Philippine administration as it sought stronger economic ties with Beijing.

Beijing claims 90 percent of the South China Sea, which is believed to hold a wealth of untapped oil and gas deposits.

Bouches-du-Rhône : un homme tué par balles à La Ciotat
Il pourrait ainsi s'agir du neuvième règlement de comptes mortel depuis le début de l'année dans les Bouches-du-Rhône. Lundi soir, vers 20 heures, un homme a été éxécuté en pleine rue à la Ciotat dans les Bouches- du- Rhône.

Disputes should be resolved peacefully in accordance with worldwide law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and respect for legal and diplomatic processes, he said, stressing the need for concerned parties to back efforts to build trust and prevent conflicts. The exploration was suspended after diplomatic protests from China.

In their statement Monday, the three foreign ministers said they would "continue to fly, sail, and operate wherever global law allows".

But after the election of President Rodrigo Duterte past year, Manila has played down the verdict in favour of pursuing warmer ties with Beijing, a move that led to offers of billions of dollars in investments or aid from China. "At this time, if you ask who is carrying out reclamation, it is definitely not China - perhaps it is the country that brings up the issue that is doing it", he added. Satellite images have shown that Vietnam has carried out reclamation work in two sites in the disputed seas in recent years.

US, Australia and Japan called for a halt on land reclamation on south China sea. "Undoubtedly, what Vietnam has done is the trick of a thief crying 'stop thief, '" the paper quoted one of the sources as saying.

After two days of tense meetings on the dispute in the Philippine capital, foreign ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) issued a joint communique that diplomats involved said was carefully worded to avoid angering China.

"They are not seeing the positive changes that is happening in the South China Sea", he said.

"Terrorism knows no boundaries and is directly threatening the safety and well being of our peoples", Kang said, at the start of a meeting between foreign ministers of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) as well as China, Japan and South Korea.

US, Australia, Japan slam Beijing for militarisation of south China Sea