Russian Foreign Ministry: AUKUS may interfere with the development of a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea may hinder the development of a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea. Alexei Ovchinnikov, Director of the Department for Asian and Pacific Cooperation of the Russian Foreign Ministry, announced a possible undermining of the negotiation process in the Asia-Pacific Region (APR), RIA Novosti reports.
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According to the diplomat, the actions of Washington and its allies in the Indo-Pacific direction can provoke a response and make the negotiation process impossible. “I will not be surprised if after some time other parties that do not participate in the development of certain rules for an entire region or subregion launch their draft rules for the South China Sea on a different base, but with their own vision,” Ovchinnikov said. .
The idea to develop a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea first appeared in the 1990s after China's seizure of the Mischief Reef. However, the disagreements both between the PRC and the countries of Southeast Asia and within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) did not allow the parties to advance on this issue in a quarter of a century. According to TASS, in June 2020, ASEAN postponed negotiations on the code with China due to the difficult epidemiological situation.
Washington, London and Canberra entered into a defense partnership agreement amid competition with China in the South China Sea. Beijing claims that a significant part of the international waters in the Asia-Pacific region belongs to the PRC. These are disputed maritime areas in Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and others.
On August 30, China's Maritime Security Administration announced that all foreign ships are required to report their whereabouts when entering “Chinese” territorial waters. Now foreign ships are required to report their callsign to the Chinese administration, as well as transmit information about the transported goods.