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Australia calls for binding conduct code in South China Sea

  • News Desk

    Associated Press

Manila | Thu, March 16, 2017 | 04:24 pm
Australia calls for binding conduct code in South China Sea Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop delivers a speech during the Stratbase Albert del Rosario Institute for Strategic and International Studies on regional challenges and opportunities for Australia and the Philippines at a hotel in the financial district of Makati, south of Manila, Philippines on March 16, 2017. Bishop is in the country to discuss mutual interests in counter terrorism; maritime and regional security; and peace and development in Mindanao. (AP/Aaron Favila)

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is urging Southeast Asia's regional bloc and China to conclude a legally binding code of conduct in the South China Sea, voicing Australia's opposition to the scale of reclamation and construction by China in the disputed territory.

Bishop, speaking Thursday at a forum in Manila, urged the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China "to go further" than ongoing discussions to craft a framework of the code of conduct and to conclude an enforceable code of conduct as soon as possible.

She says the Hague-based arbitral tribunal's recommendations on a case filed by the Philippines against China can form the basis of that code of conduct. The July ruling invalidated China's sweeping territorial claims in the South China Sea.