Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sea row won’t make agenda

Sea row won’t make agenda

Sea row won’t make agenda


Following a closed-door meeting, the defence ministers of Cambodia and Singapore announced yesterday that the controversial South China Sea dispute would not be placed on the agenda at next week’s ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting.


Speaking to reporters after the session with his Singaporean counterpart, Cambodian Defence Minister Tea Banh recognised the importance of resolving the prickly dispute, describing it as a “key issue”, but said that it would not be a topic of discussion at the defence leaders’ summit, which begins next Tuesday in Siem Reap.

“The defence ministers of ASEAN have no obligation to raise [the issue] for discussion,” Tea Banh said.

Singaporean Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen looked to other nations to take primary responsibility for resolving the dispute, which he said was “complex” and required “patience”.

“Cambodia and Singapore are non-claimant states, and I think that the other stakeholders will be able to move this issue forward,” Ng Eng Hen said.

The long-standing maritime row among China, Taiwan and ASEAN members Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam featured prominently at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting earlier this month, when Philippines Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said the dispute was “unacceptable”.

In a statement released during the meeting, he urged ASEAN to agree on a code of conduct for the sea before approaching China to negotiate.

The Philippine Embassy stood by del Rosario’s statement yesterday, but did not provide further detail about next week’s Defence Ministers’ Meeting.

To contact the reporter on this story: Vong Sokheng at [email protected]


  • Kak Channthy, Cambodian Space Project frontwoman, killed in crash at 38 [Updated]

    Updated 5:05pm, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Kak Channthy, frontwoman of popular The Cambodian Space Project, was killed Tuesday morning in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh. She was 38. Channthy, the internationally recognised singer-songwriter also known as “Srey Thy”, was reportedly travelling in a tuk-tuk on the city's

  • Australians protest Asean summit visit by PM Hun Sen

    Hundreds of protesters gathered in Sydney’s Hyde Park on Friday to protest against Cambodian strongman Hun Sen, who claimed to have been gifted millions of dollars by the Australian government ahead of a special Asean summit this weekend. An estimated 300 protesters, the majority of

  • One Australian, one Cambodian killed in explosion at military base

    Updated: 5:20pm, Friday 16 March 2018 An Australian tourist and a Cambodian soldier were killed in an explosion on Thursday afternoon at an army base in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province. The Australian, whom the government initially identified as a technical demining expert in his 40s, and

  • Peeling back layers of prehistory in Battambang

    When the man passed away, he had not yet reached 50. He belonged to a tribe that had settled near the Sangker River in Battambang province, likely cultivating the fields and raising animals. On the side, they hunted for boars, and even turtles, one of which