Code of con­duct frame­work tak­ing shape

China Daily (Canada) - - TOP NEWS - By LI XIAOKUN lix­i­aokun@chi­

China con­firmed on Wed­nes­day that it will fin­ish a frame­work with South­east Asian na­tions by the mid­dle of the year for a code of con­duct on the South China Sea.

“Ne­go­ti­a­tion on the code of con­duct has en­tered a very im­por­tant phase,” Vice-For­eign Min­is­ter Liu Zhen­min said dur­ing a news con­fer­ence to is­sue a white pa­per on China’s poli­cies on Asia-Pa­cific se­cu­rity co­op­er­a­tion.

“We will con­tinue to fo­cus on the job in the com­ing few months and do our best to fin­ish a draft of the frame­work of the code of con­duct,” Liu said, jok­ing that the work will not be dragged out un­til the last minute in June but will be done “as early as pos­si­ble”.

He also said this is progress in just one phase of ne­go­ti­a­tion on the Code of Con­duct for the South China Sea, adding that the heav­ier work will come af­ter the draft is com­pleted.

In Manila, the Philip­pines’ for­eign min­is­ter also said on Wed­nes­daythatthe­code­of­con­duct frame­work will be com­pleted by the mid­dle of the year.

“Even as we speak, we con­tinue to have dis­cus­sions with our high of­fi­cials, below min­is­te­rial level,” For­eign Sec­re­tary

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