Pacific

Australia calls for binding conduct code in South China Sea

  • Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, left, and acting Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo shake hands prior to their meeting Thursday, March 16, 2017 in suburban Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines. Bishop is on a two-day visit in the country to discuss bilateral relations between the two countries which includes a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, left, and acting Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo shake hands prior to their meeting Thursday, March 16, 2017 in suburban Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines. Bishop is on a two-day visit in the country to discuss bilateral relations between the two countries which includes a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)  (The Associated Press)

  • Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, front left, is escorted by acting Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo following their meeting Thursday, March 16, 2017 in suburban Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines. Bishop is on a two-day visit to discuss bilateral relations between the two countries which includes a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, front left, is escorted by acting Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo following their meeting Thursday, March 16, 2017 in suburban Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines. Bishop is on a two-day visit to discuss bilateral relations between the two countries which includes a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)  (The Associated Press)

  • Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, left, is escorted by acting Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo prior to their meeting Thursday, March 16, 2017 in suburban Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines. Bishop is on a two-day visit to discuss bilateral relations between the two countries which includes a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, left, is escorted by acting Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo prior to their meeting Thursday, March 16, 2017 in suburban Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines. Bishop is on a two-day visit to discuss bilateral relations between the two countries which includes a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)  (The Associated Press)

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is urging Southeast Asia's regional bloc and China to conclude a legally binding code of conduct in the South China Sea, voicing Australia's opposition to the scale of reclamation and construction by China in the disputed territory.

Bishop, speaking Thursday at a forum in Manila, urged the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations and China "to go further" than ongoing discussions to craft a framework of the code of conduct and to conclude an enforceable code of conduct as soon as possible.

She says the Hague-based arbitral tribunal's recommendations on a case filed by the Philippines against China can form the basis of that code of conduct. The July ruling invalidated China's sweeping territorial claims in the South China Sea.