US Vice President Biden urges agreement on South China Sea code of conduct

US Vice-President Joe Biden (left) met former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew at the Istana on Friday, July 26, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
US Vice-President Joe Biden (left) met former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew at the Istana on Friday, July 26, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
US Vice-President Joe Biden (left) met former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew at the Istana on Friday, July 26, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
US Vice-President Joe Biden (left) met former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew at the Istana on Friday, July 26, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
US Vice-President Joe Biden (left) speaks with President Tony Tan Keng Yam at the Istana on Friday, July 26, 2013. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
US Vice-President Joe Biden (left) speaks with President Tony Tan Keng Yam at the Istana on Friday, July 26, 2013. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
US Vice-President Joe Biden (left) shares a laugh with Singapore President Tony Tan (second left) as their wives Mrs Mary Tan (second right) and Dr Jill Biden look on at the Istana in Singapore on Friday, July 26, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
US Vice-President Joe Biden (left) shares a laugh with Singapore President Tony Tan (second left) as their wives Mrs Mary Tan (second right) and Dr Jill Biden look on at the Istana in Singapore on Friday, July 26, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
US Vice-President Joe Biden (left) and his wife Dr Jill Biden (right) share a laugh together with President Tony Tan Keng Yam (second left) and his wife Mrs Mary (second right) at the Istana on Friday, July 26, 2013. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
US Vice-President Joe Biden (left) and his wife Dr Jill Biden (right) share a laugh together with President Tony Tan Keng Yam (second left) and his wife Mrs Mary (second right) at the Istana on Friday, July 26, 2013. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
US Vice-President Joe Biden and his wife Dr Jill Biden (right) pose for a family photo with Singapore's President Tony Tan (second left) and his wife Mrs Mary Chee (second right) before their meeting at the Istana in Singapore on Friday, July 26, 201
US Vice-President Joe Biden and his wife Dr Jill Biden (right) pose for a family photo with Singapore's President Tony Tan (second left) and his wife Mrs Mary Chee (second right) before their meeting at the Istana in Singapore on Friday, July 26, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
US Vice-President Joe Biden (second left) and his wife Dr Jill Biden (left) are introduced by Singapore's President Tony Tan (centre) to his wife Mrs Mary Chee (right) before their meeting at the Istana in Singapore on Friday, July 26, 2013. -- PHOTO
US Vice-President Joe Biden (second left) and his wife Dr Jill Biden (left) are introduced by Singapore's President Tony Tan (centre) to his wife Mrs Mary Chee (right) before their meeting at the Istana in Singapore on Friday, July 26, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
US Vice-President Joe Biden and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (right) meeting the media following their meeting at the Istana in Singapore on Friday, July 26, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
US Vice-President Joe Biden and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (right) meeting the media following their meeting at the Istana in Singapore on Friday, July 26, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
US Vice-President Joe Biden and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (right) meeting the media following their meeting at the Istana in Singapore on Friday, July 26, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
US Vice-President Joe Biden and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (right) meeting the media following their meeting at the Istana in Singapore on Friday, July 26, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
US Vice-President Joe Biden shares a laugh with Prime Minster Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana on Friday, July 26, 2013. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
US Vice-President Joe Biden shares a laugh with Prime Minster Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana on Friday, July 26, 2013. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
US Vice-President Joe Biden is greeted by Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (right) before their meeting at the Istana in Singapore on Friday, July 26, 2013.
US Vice-President Joe Biden is greeted by Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (right) before their meeting at the Istana in Singapore on Friday, July 26, 2013.
US Vice-President Joe Biden (left) shakes hands with Prime Minster Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana on Friday, July 26, 2013. Mr Biden on Friday urged Asean and China to quickly reach agreement on a code of conduct on maritime disputes in the South Chin
US Vice-President Joe Biden (left) shakes hands with Prime Minster Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana on Friday, July 26, 2013. Mr Biden on Friday urged Asean and China to quickly reach agreement on a code of conduct on maritime disputes in the South China Sea. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

United States Vice President Joe Biden on Friday urged Asean and China to quickly reach agreement on a code of conduct on maritime disputes in the South China Sea.

He called on all parties invovled to "reject coercion, intimidation, threats and use of force".

"We are encouraged by the agreement to start discussions on a code of conduct and we hope to see it followed through in the upcoming weeks," he said at the Istana.

Four Asean member states - the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei - have territorial claims in the sea which overlap with China's.

Mr Biden was speaking after he called on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during his three day visit to Singapore. He also called on President Tony Tan and met former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew.

PM Lee said Singapore welcomes the US to play a constructive role in the region.

Both men also discussed the Trans Pacific Partnership during their meeting, referring to talks around a free trade agreement which Japan joined as its 12th member this week.

Mr Biden said: "The TPP is not only ambitious, it is doable."