ASEAN and China have agreed to accept a "single text" to agree on a code of conduct for the South China Sea, according to foreign media reported on Aug. 1 by the Reference News Network.
According to the report of the Thailand national newspaper on July 31st, ASEAN and China signed a non binding Declaration on the conduct of parties in the South China Sea in 2002, and now the two sides are drafting a code of conduct as a legally binding official document to manage the behavior of the relevant maritime countries.
The report said that in Beijing, in the hope of seeing the Declaration on the conduct of parties in the South China Sea effectively and fully implemented in recent years, China and ASEAN have made great progress in formulating basic rules of negotiation for the code of conduct.
"The two sides agreed for the first time to agree on the text of the negotiations." Soria, director of the ASEAN division of the Ministry of foreign affairs of Thailand, said that before all stakeholders had their own negotiating texts.
He said that this process takes time to conclude that the code of conduct is not an official document for settling disputes. The problem will be dealt with on a bilateral basis.
The Chinese and ASEAN ambassador, Huang Xi said, China and ASEAN countries will continue to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the conduct of the parties in the South China Sea, and try to reach the rules of conduct at an early date, as the code of conduct has not been specified.
Huang said that the implementation of the Declaration on the conduct of parties in the South China Sea is an effective platform for maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea by strengthening dialogue and cooperation.
"This proves that China and ASEAN have the wisdom and ability to draft rules and properly control disputes for the sake of peace and stability in the South China Sea," he said.
He said that in this spirit, maritime cooperation in the area is possible and may produce good results. In order to prevent the accident and control the situation, China and ASEAN adopted a joint statement by China and ASEAN on the application of the maritime accident rules in the South China Sea, and opened a hotline for high-level officials to deal with marine emergencies.
He said that China and ASEAN have begun to set up a maritime search and rescue hotline in order to strengthen maritime rescue, and plans to hold the first large-scale joint maritime search and rescue exercise.
"These measures have played an important role in maintaining maritime security and stability and have formed a good interaction," Huang said.
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