Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. (AP/File)
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The Association of Southeast Asian Nations should use an international court's rejection of China's claims to almost all the South China Sea as basis for a code of conduct, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Thursday.China and the 10-member ASEAN have been discussing for almost 15 years a set of rules aimed at avoiding conflict among rival claimants in the South China Sea.China claims most of the energy-rich South China Sea, through which about $5 trillion worth of trade passes each year.Tensions reached a flashpoint after the Philippines filed an arbitration case against China in The Hague and as China started militarizing artificial islands it built up on reefs in the South China Sea.
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