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Asean calls for real progress on Code of Conduct for South China Sea

Published on Aug 10, 2014 2:56 PM

NAYPYITAW - Asean foreign ministers, "seriously concerned'' over recent increased tension in the disputed South China Sea, have called for real progress on a long-delayed Code of Conduct (COC) between Asean and China to lay down rules of engagement in the area.

They also called on Indonesia to ratify the Asean Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution, and endorsed growing trade and business links between the regional body and the United States as well as China.

In a joint communiqué issued on Sunday morning following the 47th Asean Ministerial Meeting (AMM) in Myanmar's capital, the ministers "urged all parties concerned to exercise self-restraint and avoid actions which would complicate the situation and undermine peace, stability, and security in the South China Sea.''

Disputes should be settled through peaceful means - dialogue, consultations and negotiations under recognised international law - without resorting to the threat or use of force, the statement said.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (sixth from L) and ASEAN foreign ministers and officials pose for a photo prior to the ASEAN-China ministerial meeting at the Myanmar International Convention Center (MICC) in Naypyidaw on August 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
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