The conflict over the South China Sea will certainly shape future relations between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), China and the United States. So far, the inability to find a solution to the conflict has already tainted the reputation of Asean, which has often claimed its success in maintaining regional order.
Recently, an attempt to seek a solution was made. Representatives from Asean and China met for an informal discussion on the contentious South China Sea issue in Pattaya, ahead of the upcoming Asean Summit to be held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, from 15-20 Nov.
Asean Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan reportedly said "good signs" were emerging from the informal talks. "Now both sides are saying we want to get [a code of conduct] done as soon as possible because it doesn't serve anybody's interests [to delay]. It's a yo-yo but at least now they agree to talk," Mr Surin said.