ASEAN, China to finalize discussion on CoC in South China Sea

The agreement was reached at a special meeting of ASEAN and Chinese foreign ministers to mark the 10th anniversary of ASEAN-China strategic partnership in Beijing.
Beijing (ANTARA News) - ASEAN and China have agreed to finalize a discussion on code of conduct (CoC) in the South China Sea in order to create stability in the waters.

The agreement was reached at a special meeting of ASEAN and Chinese foreign ministers to mark the 10th anniversary of ASEAN-China strategic partnership here on Thursday.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa told ANTARA following the one-day meeting that the agreement was good development since both sides had agreed to finalize a discussion on code of conduct in the South China Sea.

The agreement reflected mutual trust between ASEAN and China to jointly manage stability in the waters, he said.

"Given the commitment, both sides have agreed to do as far as they can to avoid any incident. If such an incident is inevitable it can be managed in a properer way that is acceptable to China," he said.

He said both sides also have agreed to sign a treaty on the establishment of relationship based on mutual respect. "The treaty binds both sides. It is undeniable that both sides still face a heavy challenge, namely the absence of strong mutual trust particularly when it comes to the South China Sea," he said.

ASEAN and China have agreed to finalize the discussion on code of conduct in the South China Sea at the first consultation forum to be held in Suzhou, China, next September.

ASEAN groups Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.(*)

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