CHINA has agreed with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to begin the negotiations in coming up with a code of conduct framework in the South China Sea, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday, November 14.
Duterte, after the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit concluded on Tuesday night, said China was keen to cooperate with the regional bloc but asked for more time to begin the talks.
“China has graciously agreed to a code of conduct and it binds itself to the agreement,” the President said in a press conference in Pasay City.
“And I said, let it be. We’ll just observe certain norms of conduct and we were pressing China to set a date. And China said, ‘Do not just hurry up.’ But we will consider really fast tracking this code of conduct,” he added.
The legally-binding code of conduct framework intends to resolve the overlapping maritime claims in the South China Sea among sea claimants.
China, Taiwan, and Asean’s four member-states — Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, and Vietnam — laid claim to the disputed waters. (SunStar Philippines)