Beijing: Beijing and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have adopted a draft of a multilateral code of conduct in the South China Sea.
Representatives of China and the 10 Asean nations (Burma, Brunei, Cambodia, Philippines, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) reached an agreement on the draft on Thursday last, following two days of meetings in the city of Guiyang.
According to the officials, “The draft establishes a solid foundation for the next round of negotiations.”
Liu Zhenmin, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that the ASEAN had pledged in April to finalize the code of conduct to diffuse tensions in the South China Sea.
Four ASEAN members, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam, along with Taiwan and China, contest the sovereignty of several islands of this strategic maritime space, which Beijing claims almost in its entirety.