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Trust thy neighbor Written by Tribune Editorial

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Trust thy neighbor

It took the adroit diplomacy from Indonesia to come up with an agreement that gives a lot of promise on defusing tense situations in the South China Sea involving territorial claims where China is staking an aggressive claim.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa shuttled among Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) members to mend the rift at the recent Asean Regional Forum meeting in Cambodia where a traditional statement affirming unity and at the same time come up with a binding code on disputed territories did not materialize.

It was a mediation coup since the code of conduct that would likely come out from the issuance of the six-point Asean statement had China’s commitment to abide by.

The Chinese government would likely use the Indonesian move to illustrate the effectiveness of settling disputes within the region without the involvement of the United States which is what the Philippines wanted and was among the reasons China was vehemently against the proposed communiqué in the Asean meeting in Phnom Penh. A heated debate erupted over the mention of territorial disputes in the statement that resulted in an impassé, with the Philippines and Vietnam accusing Cambodia of being influenced by China while the Philippines and Vietnam were accused of holding up an agreement..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/commentary/editorial/item/1946-trust-thy-neighbor

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