Indonesia: S China Sea a ‘litmus test’ for ASEAN
WASHINGTON (AP) — Indonesia’s foreign minister says Southeast Asia’s regional bloc faces a “litmus test” as it seeks to manage disputes in the South China Sea.
Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said Thursday there’s now a “good degree of common understanding” within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on broad goals for a proposed code of conduct.
In an address webcast by the Asia Society, Natalegawa said that until recently some nations viewed the code as a “magic wand” to address core disputes.
But he said Indonesia suggested more modest goals: to avoid security incidents, to promote confidence and on how to prevent escalating into full-blown conflict.
Natalegawa did not directly address the view of China which has been reluctant to negotiate with ASEAN over its conflicting territorial claims with several Southeast Asian nations.