Australia, Japan, U.S. call for South China Sea code to be legally binding

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 07, 2017 4:29 AM

MANILA (Reuters) - Australia, Japan and the United States on Monday urged Southeast Asian nations and China to ensure that a South China Sea code of conduct they have committed to draft will be legally binding.

The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China should establish a set of rules that were "legally binding, meaningful, effective, and consistent with international law," the foreign ministers of the three countries said in a statement following a meeting in Manila.

They also urged China and the Philippines to abide by last year's international arbitration ruling on the South China Sea.

(Reporting by Manuel Mogato; Writing by Martin Petty; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)