Code of conduct framework taking shape
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