CHINA TO BOOST PEACE IN SOUTH CHINA SEA

China hopes code of con­duct talks will boost mu­tual un­der­stand and trust, says Li

New Straits Times - - World -

MANILA

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Li said there was a con­sen­sus on mov­ing for­ward and to try to peace­fully re­solve the thorny is­sue.

“We hope the talks on the code of con­duct will bol­ster mu­tual un­der­stand­ing and trust. We will strive to reach a con­sen­sus on achiev­ing early im­ple­men­ta­tion of the code of con­duct.”

He did not give a time frame, but said he hoped this move would be a “sta­biliser” for the re­gion.

Crit­ics say the agree­ment to talk on the de­tails of the code of con­duct is only an in­cre­men­tal move, with a fi­nal agree­ment not likely any­time soon.

The frame­work seeks to ad­vance a 2002 Dec­la­ra­tion of Con­duct of Par­ties in the South China Sea, which has mostly been ig­nored by claimant states, par­tic­u­larly China, which has built seven man-made is­lands in dis­puted waters.

All par­ties say the frame­work is only an out­line for how the code will be es­tab­lished, but crit­ics say the fail­ure to out­line the need to make the code legally bind­ing and en­force­able, or have a dis­pute res­o­lu­tion mech­a­nism, raises doubts about how ef­fec­tive the pact will be. Reuters

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