ASEAN Current Affairs

China, ASEAN countries agree to form South China Sea framework

China and ten member countries of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have agreed to form a framework for a code of conduct to ease tension in disputed South China Sea.

The agreement was reached between both sides during a meeting at Inner Mongolia in northern China held on August 15 and 16, 2016.

Key Facts

  • The two sides also agreed to get the framework for the code of conduct done by mid-2017.
  • They also approved guidelines for a China-ASEAN hotline for use during maritime emergencies.
  • They also agreed that a pact on unplanned maritime encounters signed by countries in the region in 2014 is applied to the SCS.

Comment

  • This decision is considered as a significant rapprochement between China and ASEAN bloc, especially after Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruling against China in July 2016.
  • The PCA had ruled that China has no historical title over the disputed South China Sea and it has breached the Philippines sovereign rights. However, China had dismissed the ruling and had urged bilateral talks to resolve the issue.

Background

Since 2010, China and the 10 members of ASEAN have been discussing a set of rules aimed at avoiding conflict among rival claimants in the busy waterway in South China Sea. China based on historical assumptions has claimed almost the entire South China Sea as its part. ASEAN members Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan (not member) also have claimed their rights in the sea through which more than $5 trillion of trade moves annually and is believed to be rich in energy deposits.

10 ASEAN Members: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

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J M Sali awarded 2015 South East Asia Write Award

Indian-origin writer Jamaludeen Mohamed Sali from Singapore has been awarded prestigious 2015 South East Asia Write Award.

The award was bestowed upon him at the annual ASEAN regional award for literary excellence in Bangkok, Thailand.

About Jamaludeen Mohamed Sali

  • Jamaludeen Mohamed Sali (famously known as J M Sali) was born in Madras in 1939.
  • He had moved to Singapore at the age of 25 after he was invited to be an assistant editor of newspaper Tamil Murasu by its founder late G Sarangapani.
  • In Singapore, he had worked at local broadcasting station and produced books on famous people including martial art icon Bruce Lee and legendary boxer Muhammad Ali.
  • He has been writing for over 5 decades and has written 57 books, 80 plays and more than 400 short stories.
  • His short stories like Vellai Kodugal (White Lines), Alaigal Pesuginrana (the Sound Of The Waves) are being studied by Tamil Literature students in Singapore and Indian universities.
  • Awards and Honours: He has won several literary awards to his credit including Singapore’s prestigious Cultural Medallion.

About Southeast Asian Write Award

The award was established in 1979. It is being presented annually to poets and writers in Southeast Asia region. It is especially bestowed upon a writer from a country that is part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The award is given for a specific work by an author or awarded for lifetime achievement.

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