China acquiesced to a draft agreement on the South China Sea dispute ahead of Secretary of State Clinton's arrival at an ASEAN summit last night – perhaps to block US 'meddling' in talks.
• A daily summary of global reports on security issues.
China claims sovereignty over the entire sea, but the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei, and Malaysia also claim parts of it as their own. A third of the world's shipping passes through this body of water, which is also rich in oil and natural gas, the Associated Press reports.
China, which has been accused of trying to intimidate the Philippines and Vietnam into stopping their oil exploration in the sea, has long resisted signing any agreement that would require that disputes be resolved peacefully until now. China's acquiescence to the draft agreement – which ends more than a decade of deadlock and brings the countries closer to a final, legally binding code of conduct – was likely spurred by a desire to get the issue off the table before Clinton's arrival Thursday night at the ASEAN summit in Bali, Reuters reports.
Page 1 of 4