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.
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.