INDONESIA TO PRESS ASEAN FOR EARLY CONCLUSION OF TALKS ON COC FOR SOUTH CHINA SEA

JAKARTA– Indonesia will actively encourage the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China to conclude negotiations on the effective and practical Code of Conduct (CoC) in the South China Sea.

“Of course, the CoC in the South China Sea will be discussed at all levels in ASEAN, both in working group at senior officials meeting and ministerial meeting,” Director General of ASEAN Cooperation at the Foreign Ministry Jose Tavarez said here.

The agreement on effective and practical CoC is essential to ensure stability and security in the South China Sea, he said.

The Indonesian government hoped that negotiations between ASEAN and China on the CoC in the South China Sea could be concluded soon. However, no date has been set to accomplish the CoC, he said.

“There has been no deadline for the accomplishment of the CoC, but there has been (willingness) to accomplish it. But the wordings are still general. We want to speed up the process of accomplishing the CoC. But the question is how long it will be. Will it be one year or two years? That is what we have not discussed in details,” he said.

The negotiations on the CoC in the South China Sea are a further step that ASEAN and China need to take after ASEAN and Chinese foreign ministers adopted the framework of the CoC in Manila, the Philippines, in August last year.

At the 50th ASEAN foreign ministers meeting, which ended early August 2017, ASEAN member states and China agreed on the CoC framework on South China Sea dispute.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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