China hopes to complete drafting COC framework with ASEAN before midyear

2017-02-22 12:59:52 GMT2017-02-22 20:59:52(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

BEIJING, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- China hopes to work with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to complete the draft of a framework of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) before midyear, a spokesperson said Wednesday.

At a meeting hosted by the Philippines on Tuesday, ASEAN foreign ministers called for the "full and effective implementation" of the 2012 Declaration on the Conduct (DOC) of Parties in the South China Sea.

Representatives of China and ASEAN will gather in Bali, Indonesia, on Monday to discuss the implementation of the DOC, maritime cooperation and negotiation of the COC, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a regular news briefing.

Geng dismissed Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay's remarks about concerns raised by ASEAN over China in the South China Sea, saying "such comments were only his opinion and does not represent the view of ASEAN as a whole."

He urged Yasay to follow President Rodrigo Duterte's policies to improve China-Philippine relations and work with China to resolve the South China Sea disputes through friendly talks.

Yasay said Tuesday that Southeast Asian countries see China's installation of weapons systems in the South China Sea as very unsettling and want to prevent militarization, according to media reports.