Senior diplomats from China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) consulted on a code of conduct (COC) for the South China Sea on Oct 20.
The 10th senior officials meeting on the implementation of the declaration on the conduct of the parties in the South China Sea (DOC) was held in Chengdu, capital of southwest China’s Sichuan province. An official press release stressed the shared political will to implement the DOC and reach a consensus on the COC as soon as possible.
Signed by China and ASEAN members in 2002 and the first political document on the South China Sea, the DOC has special significance. It is in the interests of all parties to continue to implement the DOC, said the press release.
The work plan for 2015-2016 has been updated with agreement on practical maritime cooperation under the DOC framework on navigational safety, search and rescue, marine research, environmental protection, and combating transnational crime.
On the COC, parties discussed and formulated a list of crucial issues and an outline of the COC. The meeting mandated a joint working group to review and study the two documents.