Phnom Penh (FN), August 10 - The tensions surrounding the South China Sea since last year have apparently subsided in 2017, according to Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prak Sokhonn upon his return from the 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' and Related Meetings in Manila, Philippines.

“The South China Sea issue is at ease, thanks to the exchange of visits between Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and China, as well as other official visits between leaders of China and Vietnam, Malaysia and China,” said Senior Minister Prak Sokhonn.

“Positive developments also stemmed from the establishment of the Declaration on Conduct in 2016, as well as the establishment of a cross-border network between the involving parties to address emerging issues in the disputed area,” he added.

The Philippines, a country that has always been tough with China, is quickly becoming China's darling.

The Minister reiterated that he is pleased to see the positive development through peaceful resolution.

The South China Sea is an area in chronic conflict between China and the other four ASEAN Member States, including the Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, and Malaysia. Tensions have risen since China created an artificial island used for military exercises.