By Invitation

Will 2022 see signing of a South China Sea Code of Conduct?

Ships, tankers, and vessels in the South China Sea on April 16, 2021.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

In January, after a hiatus of over a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, officials from the 10 Asean members and China quietly resumed negotiations for a Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea.

In August, during a visit to Phnom Penh, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said he hoped it could be signed next year when Cambodia takes over the Asean chairmanship. But negotiations have proven difficult and failed to yield substantial progress.

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