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

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

China and Southeast Asian countries have agreed to a draft framework for a long-mooted code of conduct for the disputed South China Sea.

China’s foreign ministry today said after a meeting between Chinese and ASEAN officials in the southern city of Guiyan, the draft framework had been agreed upon, although it gave no details of its contents.

The Ministry said senior officials have completed the negotiations of the draft code of conduct (COC) framework, ahead of the mid-2017 timeline which leaders of ASEAN and China had set.

According to a joint press statement issued at the end of the one-day senior officials’ meeting, this draft COC framework will be submitted to the foreign ministers for consideration.

China and the ASEAN had been hoping to agree on the framework this year, 15 years after committing to draft it.

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