World China says ready to work with ASEAN for South China Sea peace

08:29  03 november  2019
08:29  03 november  2019 Source:   reuters.com

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China and Asean have worked to finalise a code of conduct in the South China Sea since 2002. Vietnam calls for restraint in South China Sea after months of tensions with Beijing. President Nguyen Phu Trong says country should ‘never compromise’ on sovereignty as Chinese ship continues energy

The South China Sea disputes involve both island and maritime claims among several sovereign states within the region, namely Brunei, the People's Republic of China (PRC), the Republic of China

BANGKOK (Reuters) - China is ready to work with Southeast Asian countries for long term peace and stability in the South China Sea, Chinese premier Li Keqiang said on Sunday after meeting leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Prayut Chan-o-cha in a suit and tie: 35th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok, Thailand © Reuters/SOE ZEYA TUN 35th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok, Thailand

China's sweeping maritime claims in the South China Sea are rejected by several members of ASEAN, which have competing claims in the busy waterway.

At the summit in Bangkok, Li cited progress on a long-awaited South China Sea code of conduct, due for completion within three years.

“We are willing to work with ASEAN, under the consensus that had been reached, to sustain long term peace and stability in the South China Sea, according to the timetable set for three years,” Li said in a statement.

A legally binding code has long been a goal for ASEAN members sparring over what they see as China's disregard of sovereign rights and its obstruction of their energy exploration and fishing.

(Reporting by Liz Lee; Writing by Matthew Tostevin; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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