The Philippines government says its making progress in its attempt to unite its Southeast Asian neighbours against China’s claims on the South China Sea.
An Association of South East Asian Nations meeting in Manila agreed the territorial dispute should be decided under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The Philippines called the meeting as part of its ongoing efforts to stop what it calls China’s illegal claims to sovereignty on all of the South China Sea.
The meeting was also attended by legal experts from Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei, which all have claims over parts of the sea.
Meanwhile, an Indian state-run oil company says it will move ahead with plans to explore the dispute South China Sea, despite warnings from China.
The Oil and Natural Gas Corp will conduct the exploration with long-term partner, Vietnam, and insists the exploration area is well within its territorial waters.
Earlier, a Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman described oil and gas exploration activities carried out by a foreign company without the approval of China as “illegal and invalid”.