'PH to explore peaceful solution to sea disputes'

China's military drills

China's military drills

The framework represented progress, but expectations should be realistic, said Jay Batongbacal, a Philippine academic and expert on the South China Sea. The Tribunal also ruled that was no legal basis for the Chinese government to claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within the nine-dash line. Despite its vague terms, however, commentators say the finalization of the Code represents a diplomatic coup for the Chinese, "demonstrating that China and its neighbors can resolve their differences just fine without Washington's help".

Along with the Philippines, ASEAN members Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei also maintain claims in the South China Sea that overlap with those of China and Taiwan.

China's foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said: "With joint efforts by involved parties, including China, the South China Sea situation has stabilized and improved".

Mr Duterte's remarks came the same day that China and the Philippines held their first session in a two-way consultation process on the South China Sea. ASEAN is now chaired by the Philippines, whose leader Rodrigo Duterte has pursued a bilateral rapprochement with Beijing since being sworn into office in June 2016.

The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China on Thursday finished a draft framework for negotiating a code of conduct, despite regional scepticism whether Beijing will commit to rules likely to restrain its maritime ambitions.

India along with the USA and many other countries have been vocal about freedom of navigation in the area as foreign trade worth over a trillion dollar move through the SCS.

USA racer Hayden still in "extremely critical" condition
The hospital confirmed on Thursday that Hayden suffered "a serious polytrauma with subsequent serious cerebral damage". American multiple world champion Wayne Rainey also said he was praying for Hayden.

Photographed through the window of a closed aircraft, an aerial view shows Pag-asa Island, part of the disputed Spratly group of islands, in the South China Sea located off the coast of western Philippines on July 20, 2011.

Though India and Singapore are not parties to the dispute, they have expressed concerns over the simmering tensions in the South China Sea waters, through which trade worth $5 trillion passes every year.

China's foreign ministry said senior officials from ASEAN and China agreed to the framework that establishes guidelines for a final agreement. "As (Duterte) told President Xi (Jinping), there will still be problems, but we are willing to discuss the issues with the Chinese side and he is optimistic that the bilateral negotiations and bilateral dialogue is the way to go", Romana said.

China claims nearly the entire South China Sea, a key shipping lane that is believed to be rich in marine and mineral resources.

The issue has come to a head in recent years as China has pursued a strategy of building artificial islands capable of supporting military facilities in the region, provoking strong reactions from other claimants as well as the U.S., which argues Beijing's actions threaten freedom of navigation and overflight through the strategically vital waters.

Recommended News

  • Saudi king: Trump visit a 'turning point'

    Tillerson said Trump's speech was directed not just to the leaders of Muslim nations, but also to Muslim-Americans of faith. He said that he expects the visit to herald "a new chapter that will bring lasting benefits to all our citizens".

    Ringling Brothers Circus Comes to an End

    It opposes not just experiments on living animals in labs but the dissection of already dead animals in school biology classes. More than 146 years of dazzling audiences, the Ringling Brothers circus will still go down as "The Greatest Show on Earth".

    Dozens injured by Israeli forces in Palestine protests

    The protest was held in support of hundreds of Palestinians in Israeli jails on hunger strike since April 17. They were transferred to hospital for medical treatment, where their conditions were described as moderate.
  • Conte named Manager of the Year - LMA

    The closest Chelsea came to the award was ex-assistant coach Brendan Rodgers winning when he helmed Liverpool in 2014. Individually, it was Conte's fourth successive domestic title, having won three in a row with Juventus in Serie A.
    Texas set to pass transgender bathroom law for schools

    Texas set to pass transgender bathroom law for schools

    The rulings have raised the potential of Texas becoming the first state dragged back under federal oversight since the U.S. Greg Abbott , a proponent of transgender bathroom restrictions, has indicated he'll sign the measure into law.
    Qualcomm sues four Apple contract manufacturers

    Qualcomm sues four Apple contract manufacturers

    The Cupertino, California, company isn't alone in its accusations against Qualcomm . Qualcomm did not disclose the quantum of royalty owed to it by the manufacturers.
  • Vermont governor snuffs legal pot, tells lawmakers to 'get it right'

    Vermont governor snuffs legal pot, tells lawmakers to 'get it right'

    May 24, 2017-The myopic Vermont governor actually blocked the United States first legalization law passed by a state legislature. Scott is calling for more aggressive penalties for smoking pot while driving or using it in the presence of children.
    Babies should avoid fruit juice, American Academy of Pediatrics says

    Babies should avoid fruit juice, American Academy of Pediatrics says

    Children taking certain types of medications should not be given grapefruit juice, the study authors noted. The group says it's making the change since child obesity rates and dental issues are on the rise.
    Macron wins French presidency, promises more lawmakers new to politics

    Macron wins French presidency, promises more lawmakers new to politics

    Macron has promised that half of those candidates will be new to elected politics, as he was before his victory Sunday. Monday also marked decades of peace in Western Europe, something Macron highlighted in his campaign against Le Pen.
  • US Air Strike Targets Pro-Syrian Militia

    The Pentagon official also said the attack on forces does not reflect an escalation, and that the policy remains unchanged. Local media have reported the strikes caused casualties and destroyed a number of vehicles.

    UN Security Council Scrambles to Address Latest N. Korean Missile Launch

    Pacific Command highlighted "our ironclad commitment to the security of our allies in the Republic of Korea and Japan". South Korea's military said the missile flew about 500 km, reaching an altitude of 560 km.

    Iranian president calls US relations 'a curvy road'

    Trump's choice of allies in the region, and a literal highlighting of the US leader's own focus on "investment". He then took to Twitter with a sharp rebuke of Mr.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.