SINGAPORE, The Single Draft Code of Conduct (CoC) Negotiating Text, which Asean and China have arrived at, will be a living document and the basis for future negotiations, announced Asean Chairman, Singapore.

We also agreed on the key modalities for future rounds of COC negotiations, said Singapore Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan at the Asean-China Ministerial Meeting Thursday.

Singapore which is also the country coordinator of Asean-China Dialogue Relations described it as another milestone in the COC process.

The recent COC talks were held in Changsha, China in June.

Asean and China have been working towards the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties (DOC) in the South China Sea and the early conclusion of an effective COC, said the Chairman.

We have also focused on practical cooperation to build mutual trust and confidence that including adoption of the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) in the South China Sea in 2016," said Balakrishnan.

Others include operationalisation of the MFA-to-MFA Hotline for Maritime Emegencies in the South China Sea, as well as adoption of the COC Framework in 2017; and Commencement of COC negotiations in March this year.

Asean and China agreed to set up a code of conduct in the South China Sea during a 2002 summit amid heightened tensions in the disputed waters. The region in question includes one of the world's most important shipping lanes, believed to be rich in mineral and marine resources.--NNN-BERNAMA

Source: NAM News Network