By Alexis Romero
MANILA, Philippines - The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has made “good progress” in the crafting of a framework for a code of conduct on the South China Sea, an official said yesterday.
Foreign affairs executive director for ASEAN affairs Zaldy Patron said there have been agreements on the items to be included in the framework.
“Whereas before, China and ASEAN member states do not even want to start discussion on the framework of Code of Conduct (COC). But under the Philippine chairmanship, we have seen a lot of movements in the discussion and China has already made an announcement that it’s also supportive of having a framework of the COC,” Patron said in a press briefing in Malacañang.
“So that is something that we would like to take advantage of. It’s a step forward to having a full and effective COC,” he added.
Patron said that in the two meetings held by the technical working group tasked to draft the framework, the topics discussed included guidelines for avoiding tensions in the South China Sea.
He said he could not disclose details as the elements of the framework are still up for negotiation later this month.
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