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Spratlys > News > English News > April 2004 

Category: @News  @China

ASEAN talks bear fruit on Spratly Islands

29/04/2003 22:33:34 | ABC Radio Australia News

China has agreed trade and security treaty with 10 South-East Asian states in a move designed to promote peaceful resolution of disputes.

China is keen to promote political and economic links with its southern neighbours but a simmering dispute over ownership of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea has in the past raised concerns over its territorial ambitions.

China and Vietnam have both built structures on the atolls, while Taiwan and ASEAN members Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines also lay claim to parts or all of the area.

A Cambodian foreign ministry spokesman said China would sign the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation at a regional security meeting in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh in June.

Years of talks on the Spratlys, a group of atolls and reefs, have failed to broach a permanent deal although China and ASEAN last year declared an agreement to avoid open conflict in the South China Sea.