KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - China's discussion with Asean to develop a Code of Conduct (CoC) on the South China Sea has entered a new stage and the country looks forward to achieving more at the 48th Asean Ministerial Meeting.
China's foreign affairs vice-minister Liu Zhenmin said the most recent meeting with Asean on the issue, which took place in Tianjin, China last month, had been successful.
"The consultation will get into a new stage and we hope to rebuild crucial and complicated issues, including finding common elements for the preparations of the job frame of CoC," he told reporters after the Asean Plus Three Senior Officials Meeting on Monday.
Asean and China agreed in 2002 on a Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DoC), a document which, among others, reaffirmed the parties' commitment to international law.
China, Taiwan and Asean members Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam and Brunei are disputing the maritime boundaries in the resource rich seas.
The parties have since been working to draw up an official and binding CoC to further promote peace and stability.
Tensions in the disputed waters have continued to flare up, due to actions by several claimant countries.
Liu described the meeting as a step forward to work with stakeholders on the matter.
"We are looking forward to work with members of Asean countries.
"We hope in the coming months or years, the discussions will be intensified," he said.