18 May '17, 12pm

China, ASEAN agree on draft framework for South China Sea code of conduct

BEIJING: China and Southeast Asian countries agreed on Thursday (May 18) to a draft framework for a long-mooted code of conduct for the disputed South China Sea, China's foreign ministry said. China and the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) had been hoping to this year agree on the framework, 15 years after committing to draft it. Some ASEAN diplomats have expressed concern about whether China is being sincere, or whether ASEAN has enough leverage to get Beijing to commit to a set of rules. After a meeting between Chinese and ASEAN officials in the southern city of Guiyan, China's foreign ministry said the draft framework had been agreed upon, although it gave no details of its contents. “We are pleased to announce that the senior officials have completed the negotiations of the draft COC (code of conduct) framework, ahead of the mid-2017 timeli...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/china-ase...

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