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Cablegate: Code of Conduct for South China Sea:

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


2002HANOI01382 - UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTO7621

PAGE 01 HANOI 01382 301028Z
ACTION EAP-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AIT-03 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 DOTE-00 DS-00
EB-00 FAAE-00 FBIE-00 UTED-00 VC-00 TEDE-00 INR-00
VCE-00 M-00 NSAE-00 PER-00 PM-00 IRM-00 TEST-00
PMB-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /005W
------------------B59CA9 301028Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 6621
INFO AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
ASEAN COLLECTIVE
AMEMBASSY BEIJING
AIT TAIPEI 0694
NSC WASHDC
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI//FPA//
SECDEF WASHDC//ISA/ABLAGG//

UNCLAS HANOI 001382

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

STATE FOR EAP/BCLTV, EAP/RSP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR PINR VM ASEAN CVR
SUBJECT: CODE OF CONDUCT FOR SOUTH CHINA SEA:
- ADOPTION BY JULY "50-50"

UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HANOI 01382 301028Z
1. (SBU) AT A WORKING LUNCH ON MAY 30, MFA ASEAN
DEPARTMENT DEPUTY DIRECTOR GENERAL PHAM HUU CHI TOLD POL/C
AND POLOFFS THAT HE RATED AGREEMENT AMONG ASEAN MEMBERS ON
THE FINAL LANGUAGE OF THE CODE OF CONDUCT IN TIME FOR THE
ASEAN MINISTERIAL MEETING IN JULY AS NO BETTER THAN "50-50."
(SEPTEL WILL REPORT ON MFA VIEWS OF THE RECENT SENIOR
OFFICIALS MEETING IN BRUNEI.)

2. (SBU) ACCORDING TO CHI, MALAYSIA CONTINUES TO INSIST
THAT THE CODE REFER ONLY TO THE SPRATLY ISLANDS -- NOT THE
SOUTH CHINA SEA OR "DISPUTED AREAS" -- BECAUSE IT DOES NOT
WANT THE CODE TO COVER THE SEVERAL ISLANDS MALAYSIA CLAIMS
IN THE SOUTHWEST PART OF THE SOUTH CHINA SEA. (THESE
ISLANDS ARE CONSIDERED OUTSIDE THE SPRATLY ARCHIPELAGO.)
DESPITE RECENT PHILIPPINE EFFORTS TO COME UP WITH A NEW
FORMULA, MALAYSIA IS STILL NOT SATISFIED, CHI NOTED. HE
NOTED THAT BEIJING HAD INDICATED THAT IT WOULD GO ALONG WITH
WHATEVER ASEAN CONSENSUS EMERGED ON THE EXACT WORDING.

3. (SBU) ASEAN WILL TRY TO RESOLVE THIS ISSUE AT A SENIOR
OFFICIALS MEETING IN JUNE IN VIENTIANE, WITH HOPES OF
AGREEMENT IN TIME FOR APPROVAL OF THE CODE AT THE AMM. CHI
SAID HE EXPECTS MFA VICE MINISTER NGUYEN DINH BIN WILL
REPRESENT THE GVN. INITIALLY, THE PLAN WAS FOR ONLY THE
FOUR ASEAN CLAIMANTS (BRUNEI, MALAYSIA, THE PHILIPPINES, AND
VIETNAM) TO ATTEND, BUT OTHER ASEAN MEMBERS ASKED TO
PARTICIPATE AS WELL.

4. (SBU) COMMENT: WHILE NO ONE HERE IS HOLDING HIS BREATH
ON THE IMMINENT RESOLUTION OF THIS LONG-STANDING ISSUE,
ASEAN APPEARS TO BE NUDGING CLOSER TO A WORKABLE CONSENSUS.
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 01382 301028Z
WHILE THE CODE WOULD NOT BE LEGALLY BINDING, AS OFFICIALS
HERE STRESS, IT WOULD MARK AN IMPORTANT STEP FORWARD IN
REGIONAL SOLIDARITY AND FURTHER DIMINISHMENT OF TERRITORIAL
TENSIONS IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEAS.
PORTER

UNCLASSIFIED

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