Brunei to seek S. China Sea code
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN - Brunei will pursue a binding code of conduct among competing South China Sea claimants as a top priority during its Asean chairmanship.
The tiny, oil-rich Muslim sultanate has assumed the chair of the 10-member Asean for this year at a time when tensions over sweeping Chinese claims to the sea have rattled the region.
"Brunei sees this as a key threat to regional security and would like to resolve the issue through dialogue with all claimants, including China," a foreign ministry official, who declined to be named, said yesterday.
Taiwan and Asean members Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei also have claims to parts of the sea, one of the world's most important shipping lanes and believed to be rich in fossil fuels.