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Kerry pushes Asean, China for South China Sea code of conduct to maintain stability

Published on Feb 17, 2014 4:00 PM
 
United States Secretary of State John Kerry made a pitch on Monday, Feb 17, 2014, for Asean countries and China to produce a code of conduct to manage tensions in the South China Sea, warning that a stable region depended on such guidelines. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

United States Secretary of State John Kerry made a pitch on Monday for Asean countries and China to produce a code of conduct to manage tensions in the South China Sea, warning that a stable region depended on such guidelines.

"It's not an exaggeration to say that the region's future stability will depend in part on the success and the timeliness of the effort to produce a code of conduct," he said.

"The longer the process takes, the longer tensions will simmer, and the greater the chance of a miscalculation by somebody that could trigger a conflict. That is in nobody's interests," he told a joint press conference with Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, his last engagement on his three-nation tour of East and South-east Asia after stops in Seoul and Beijing.

Mr Kerry's comments came two days after he touched on, while in Beijing, the need for China to adopt an approach based on the rule of law in the South China Sea.

 
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