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Australia calls for binding conduct code in South China Sea

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By Associated Press

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.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop  (AP Photo/Aaron Favila / MANILA BULLETIN)

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop
(AP Photo/Aaron Favila / MANILA BULLETIN)

Bishop, speaking Thursday at a forum in Manila, urged the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations 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.

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