Asean vows unity on South China Sea: Thai official
BANGKOK (AFP) - South-east Asian nations on Wednesday vowed unity in pressing China to accept a binding code of conduct for handling disputes in the South China Sea, the Thai foreign ministry said.
Competing claims to the sea have for decades stirred tension in the region and the waterway, which is believed to sit atop vast deposits of oil and natural gas, has long been seen as one of Asia's potential military flashpoints.
Foreign ministers from the 10-member Association of South-east Asian Nations agreed "to speak in one voice" while seeking an "early conclusion of a code of conduct", a foreign ministry spokesman told AFP, without giving a timeframe.
The ministers, who held a two-day informal meeting in Thailand's Hua Hin resort town, will meet Chinese officials in Beijing at the end of the month.