China and South-East Asian countries may start negotiations on a code of conduct in the South China Sea this year
China and South-East Asian countries may start negotiations on a code of conduct in
the disputed South China Sea this year if there is “no major disruption” from outside parties, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Sunday.
Wang said Beijing and the 10-member Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) approved a framework for the code of conduct, which would pave the way for the negotiations.
“Today, the 11 foreign ministers agreed upon and adopted the code of conduct framework, and we announced that sometime within the year, we will start the negotiations on the text of the code of conduct,” he said after meeting with his counterparts from the regional bloc.
But Wang said there were “preconditions” to the start of the negotiations, including no interference from non-claimant countries. [FULL STORY]