Chinese diplomats and representatives from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) finished the first reading of the Single Draft Negotiating Text for a Code of Conduct (COC) for the South China Sea «ahead of schedule,» said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Bangkok on Wednesday.
Speaking at the 52nd ASEAN Foreign Ministers' meeting, Wang said: «In the past year, China and ASEAN... Еще countries have upheld the spirit of the DOC [Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea], explored the rule-based governance of the South China Sea, handled contradictions and disputes properly and have been committed to maintaining peace and stability.»
The Chinese foreign minister noted: «We have actively advanced the consultations on a COC [Code of Conduct] and finished the first reading of the COC Single Draft Negotiation Text ahead of schedule.»
Wang stressed that «it marks new, major progress in the COC consultations and an important step toward the goal of concluding the consultations within three years' time.»
He added that the result demonstrates «the conviction of regional countries to jointly set rules in the region and safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea together.»