Jakarta (ANTARA) - ASEAN and China have agreed to complete negotiations on the South China Sea code of conduct (CoC) in three years, director for ASEAN political and security cooperation at Indonesia's Foreign Affairs Ministry, Rolliansyah Soemirat, informed.

During its ASEAN chairmanship this year, Indonesia has taken the initiative to accelerate the CoC negotiations on the disputed South China Sea. The guidelines for acceleration were adopted earlier during the ASEAN foreign ministers' meeting with the director of the Chinese Communist Party's Central Committee Foreign Affairs Commission Office, Wang Yi, in Jakarta on July 13, 2023.

Next, the guidelines will be endorsed by leaders at the ASEAN-China Summit in Jakarta on September 6, Soemirat said.

"Aspirational, yes, everyone agreed to have some kind of timeline (to complete the CoC) in three years," he told ANTARA here on Saturday.

The guidelines, the first in history, summarize ASEAN-China aspirations to complete the CoC in three years or less, through intensive discussion on pending issues and other proposed working methods to make negotiations faster and more effective, according to a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The guidelines can serve as a practical guide to keep the CoC effective and actionable, he added.

The CoC is expected to be a code of conduct that reflects international norms, principles, and rules that are in line with international law, especially the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to create a stable, safe, and peaceful South China Sea.

Related news: ASEAN, China to accelerate talks on South China Sea code of conduct

Indonesia has continued to support confidence-building measures and ease tensions to help build prosperity in the region, as well as ensure ASEAN's centrality in South China Sea issues, the ministry said.

During Indonesia's chairmanship of ASEAN, the second reading or discussions on the second round of negotiations on CoC have been completed.

In addition to the COC negotiations, Indonesia will continue to push for increased practical maritime cooperation between ASEAN and China in the South China Sea region to increase mutual trust in order to support and maintain peace, security, and stability in the region.

Indonesia hosted the CoC negotiations between ASEAN and China in March. It is planning to host the next round of negotiations at the end of 2023.

It will also continue to push for increased practical maritime cooperation between ASEAN and China in the South China Sea as part of an effort to increase mutual trust and maintain peace, security, and stability in the region, the statement said.

China has been claiming sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea so far. ASEAN member countries that also have territorial claims over the waters are Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

Related news: Conducive atmosphere vital in South China Sea CoC negotiations: ASEAN

Related news: Indonesia seeks to expedite South China Sea CoC negotiations

Reporter: Shofi Ayudiana
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
Copyright © ANTARA 2023