İlknur Şebnem Öztemel-TDO- Foreign Minister of Philippines, Perfecto Yasay, told after a meeting with his Russian counterpart that Philippines was hopeful as a code of conduct for Southeast Asian nations and China over the disputed South China Sea which would be completed by the middle of this year. He said "Even as we speak, we continue to have discussions with our high officials, below ministerial level, and these talks are ongoing,"
He added the code would help to de-escalate tension in natural gas and oil rich South East China Sea where China build artificial islands to have more land in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Most of the neighboring states were intimidated by Chinese efforts and try to take non-violent measures against it. For instance; Philippines sued an arbitration case against China to Hague and they ruled in favor of Manila.
Actually this would not be included in ASEAN’s agenda but Philippines plan to solve in bilateral meetings with China, in near future. The code of conduct would make sure ASEAN and China follow legal and diplomatic processes in settling territorial disputes.
Chinese vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said that Beijing was negotiating with ASEAN to complete a framework draft in the first half of the year but warned that the next stage would be harder.
It is claimed that South China Sea is capable of $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes for each year. Not only China but also, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam have claims over the resource rich waters.