GUIYANG, May 18 (Xinhua) -- Senior officials from China and ASEAN countries Thursday agreed on a framework for the Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea.
The consensus came during the 14th senior officials' meeting on the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the South China Sea (DOC).
The meeting, co-chaired by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin and Singapore's Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs Chee Wee Kiong, was held ahead of the upcoming China-ASEAN foreign ministers' meeting in July.
The approval of the framework was reached earlier than scheduled, Liu told the press after the meeting, adding that according to the work plan, China and ASEAN countries were expected to finish consultation on the draft framework for the COC by the first half of this year.
The framework, which represents a crucial phased result in the entire COC negotiation process, has laid a solid foundation for further negotiations, Liu stressed.
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