South China Sea code 'should be binding'

This will help manage crises and prevent conflict, say academics

The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) leading a formation of US and Republic of Singapore navy ships during a photo exercise in the South China Sea on April 6, 2018.
The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) leading a formation of US and Republic of Singapore navy ships during a photo exercise in the South China Sea on April 6, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

The Code of Conduct (COC) being negotiated between China and Asean should be legally binding to a certain degree, a Chinese scholar on the South China Sea has said.

"I believe that the Code of Conduct as an upgraded version of the DOC should have some legally binding force," said Dr Wu Shicun, head of the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, a think-tank in southern Hainan province.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 12, 2018, with the headline 'South China Sea code 'should be binding''. Print Edition | Subscribe