-(Reuters 9/8) Vietnam wins U.S. defense pledges as tension with China grows: Both countries agreed on a visit from a U.S. aircraft carrier and deeper defense cooperation.

-(Inquirer 8/8) US, allies slow Beijing’s South China Sea momentum: The US, Japan and Australia issued a joint statement that blasted aggressive actions in the contested offshore territories

-(Reuters 8/8) Philippines says China wanted non-legally binding South China Sea code, said the Philippine foreign minister.

-(CNN 8/8) US calls for legally binding code of conduct in SCS: The US, Australia and Japan have promised to continue "freedom of navigation" operations and called on Beijing to endorse a legally binding code of conduct.

-(GMA Network 7/8) ASEAN takes tougher stance on South China Sea, expressing concerns about the land reclamations in the disputed waters and calling for "non-militarization and self-restraint."

-(Channel NewsAsia 6/8) South China Sea code negotiations with ASEAN to start this year, China's foreign minister.

alt-(Reuters 6/8) ASEAN, China adopt framework for crafting code on South China Sea, a move they hailed as progress but seen by critics as tactic to buy China time to consolidate its maritime power.