Power Play

The seemingly never-ending quest for a South China Sea Code of Conduct

Two decades on, China and Asean are having yet another crack at the code. Is it time to ditch what looks like mission impossible?

The lengthy impasse on formulating the code of conduct raises questions of whether the process - and the code itself - still have value. PHOTO: ST FILE
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For 20 years, Asean and China have been working on a Code of Conduct (COC) for the South China Sea.

So far, the task looks to be a Sisyphean one - with rounds and rounds of negotiations across cities, messages of support in countless communiques and joint statements over the years, but little to show for it.

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