CHINA TO BOOST PEACE IN SOUTH CHINA SEA
China hopes code of conduct talks will boost mutual understand and trust, says Li
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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