The foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China officially approved a draft framework for the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) on Sunday in Manila, the Philippines.
Việt Nam’s Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh at the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding on establishing the ASEAN-China centre. — VNA/VNS Photo Xuân Vịnh
They called it the first step in a “pragmatic negotiation process for an effective, legally-binding COC, contributing to maintaining peace and stability in the region."
Việt Nam’s Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyễn Quốc Dũng said this was a positive step towards a practical and efficient COC negotiation process.
The document will be submitted to the ASEAN Summit in November.
On Saturday, Việt Nam’s Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh had suggested that ASEAN boost exchanges with China towards an early start of COC negotiations.
He had affirmed Việt Nam’s consistent stance on the importance of peace, stability, overflight and maritime security and safety in the East Sea for peace and stability in the region.
At the ASEAN-China meeting on Sunday, a memorandum of understanding was signed on establishing the ASEAN-China centre that would assess reports on the implementation of action plans agreed by the regional bloc and its dialogue partners./.