Philippines calls for 'gentlemen's agreement' between ASEAN, China on sea code

Four Indonesian soldiers killed in S. China Sea training

Four Indonesian soldiers killed in S. China Sea training

"As a member in the South China Sea, Taiwan should be included in the multilateral mechanism that seeks to address disputes in the region", he said.

"We have to ask, what does Japan truly care about?"

"The Philippines under Duterte decided that we had to address the overdependence on one major power whose capital is thousands of miles away and to pay attention to our neighborhood, particularly, to the biggest neighbor we have - that is China", Santa Romana said.

Before that happens, China and the ASEAN countries said they will continue following a separate document called the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, or DOC, which among other provisions, commits the parties to "exploring ways for building trust and confidence. on the basis of equality and mutual respect".

On Wednesday, the two Chinese SU-30 jets approached a WC-135 Constant Phoenix aircraft - a modified Boeing C-135 - conducting a routine mission in global airspace in accordance with worldwide law, Pacific Air Forces spokeswoman Lt. Col. Lori Hodge said in a statement.

Ever since China started constructing an artificial island near the Spratly Island chain in South China Sea, the world became alarmed to a possible militarization of the region. They are controlled by Japan but claimed also by China.

In 2013, China declared a formal Air Defense Identification Zone covering airspace over the islands and overlapping with airspace claimed by Japan.

China has installed rocket launchers on a disputed reef in the South China Sea to ward off Vietnamese military combat divers, according to a state-run newspaper, offering new details on China's ongoing military build-up.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the drone flight is "a new type of action by China".

Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada said use of the drone aggravated tensions inflamed by what Japan says are a record number of scrambles by its Self-Defense Force aircraft in response to Chinese incursions in the last fiscal year.

The director-general of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, Kenji Kanasugi, made a stern protest over the incident to the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo by phone, according to Reuters, citing ministry officials.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shakes hands with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte prior to their bilateral meeting during the Belt and Road Forum, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China May 15, 2017.

China routinely rejects Japanese criticism of such patrols, saying its ships have every right to operate in what China calls its territorial waters.

On April 30, a statement at the conclusion of the 30th ASEAN Summit in Manila pointedly dropped references to "land reclamation and militarization" in the South China Sea that had previously been included.

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