Military Review

Looking for a code of conduct


The maritime theme became dominant during the sixth Conference of Ministers of Defense of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia. “Safety at sea is a vital necessity for the economic prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region. We all need to work together to tackle problems such as piracy, drug smuggling, human trafficking and the illegal fishing of seafood, ”said Jonathan Coleman, the minister of defense and state services of New Zealand.

The topic of maritime security will be one of the key issues during the ASEAN ministerial meeting with the dialogue partners - Russia, Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and the United States. It will be a continuation of the ministerial conference of the association and will be held in Brunei on August 28 and 29.

The main issue of the conference is the development of a single Code of Conduct in the South China Sea, rich in hydrocarbon deposits. In 2002, China and ASEAN signed the Declaration of Conduct of the Parties in the South China Sea. This document regulates the policies of countries applying to the disputed territory. One of its provisions provides for the elaboration of a Code of Conduct for Parties in the South China Sea, which will determine the final parameters for resolving the conflict. According to observers, the process of discussion in ASEAN of creating such a regulatory document has been going on for about 10 years. At last year’s ministerial meeting, Cambodia spoke out sharply against such a document. As a result, for the first time in 45, ministers were unable to sign the final declaration.

Now the situation is even more complicated. On the one hand, territorial claims to the islands located in the South China Sea are increasingly being made by members of the association - Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam. On the other hand, Southeast Asia has become the scene of uncompromising geopolitical rivalry between China and the United States, and this causes a certain division in relations between the ASEAN countries. The same Washington is pushing the Philippines to take a tougher stance against China on the disputed islands. In turn, as Reuters reports, Beijing declared that it would take the most decisive actions against Manila if it did not cease to provoke the People's Republic of China in the South China Sea.

Under these conditions, it is difficult for associations to develop a position that would suit both Washington and Beijing, and China with ASEAN. However, according to reports from Brunei, at this stage, the dialogue participants are set to receive concrete results. Moreover, over the past few months, the ASEAN countries have consolidated their position in all areas, from the economy to the defense, in order to speak at the talks with China with a single position. According to expectations, this conference will help the parties to develop a single mandatory code to regulate shipping in disputed sea areas. Ten member countries of the association are hoping to develop a general bill that would establish the legal regime and rules of navigation in disputed zones.
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  1. Vladimirets
    Vladimirets 28 August 2013 13: 19
    Well, what are you guys, the United States must definitely ask how to use your sea. And then suddenly someone with democracy is not all right or the warehouse with dichlorvos is hidden.
  2. Lech from ZATULINKI
    Lech from ZATULINKI 28 August 2013 13: 27
    heh heh - PIRATE CODE.
    This is not a law, but just a set of rules that you want to follow and you want to go by three letters.
  3. pahom54
    pahom54 28 August 2013 16: 45
    As I understand it, China - FOR the adoption of this code (which, that's it - you want to comply, you want - no). This means that while in this zone rich in hydrocarbons, he does not have either the desire or the corresponding strength to climb (forces, I mean, toughly resist the world uncle Sam). Right now, when different pugs climbed up with their rejection (and at the same time try to bite off this piece), here now Uncle Sam will wake up, and China is supposed to change his behavior. And most likely, the USA and China will share these hydrocarbons ...
  4. albanech
    albanech 29 August 2013 17: 42
    An uplifting article! Thanks to the author! It has become more fun!