US Secretary of State John Kerry has said he hopes for progress on a Code of Conduct to help resolve maritime disputes in the South China Sea and ensure regional stability.
Speaking at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, (ASEAN), Summit in Brunei, Kerry said: “We have a strong interest in the manner in which the disputes of the South China Sea are addressed and in the conduct of the parties. We very much hope to see progress soon on a substantive Code of Conduct in order to ensure stability in this vital region.”
Regional analysts suggest that Beijing would be unlikely to sign up to such an agreement and is keen to cement its claims over the sea.
Japan said it had monitored four Chinese ships entering its territorial waters around the disputed Senaku islands in the East China Sea early on July 1. China, which calls the islands Diaoyu, maintains that it discovered them in the fourteenth century.