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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs    26 May 2012

Asean meeting on South China Sea begins

24 May 2012

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) officials began yesterday a five-day meeting on a code of conduct for the South China Sea, officials said.
The officials said China had expressed its clear position on the code and wanted to solve the territorial dispute peacefully.
The meeting was chaired by Nong Sakol, deputy secretary general of the Asean General Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

"The meeting was held to end internal discussions between Asean countries on significant components of the code of conduct for the South China Sea," he said.

"We will present a draft to senior Asean officials for consideration before taking it to discuss with China."

The code aims to expand cooperation while building and maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea and not referring to dispute resolution.

"The dispute in the South China Sea has to be resolved under international law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea," Nong Sakol said.

"The working group didn’t consider the concerns of related countries as this was beyond its mandate."

He said the code of conduct was important for building confidence, cooperation and relationships between Asean countries and China in response to the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea signed in Phnom Penh in 2002.

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AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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