South China Sea Code Of Conduct Draft Approved

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| } May 19 , 2017 , 12:19 IST
FILE PHOTO  -  Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in this still image from video taken by a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft provided by the United States Navy May 21, 2015. U.S. Navy/Handout via Reuters/File Photo   ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. THIS PICTURE WAS PROCESSED BY REUTERS TO ENHANCE QUALITY. AN UNPROCESSED VERSION IS AVAILABLE IN OUR ARCHIVE. - RTX2OESQ

Representatives of China and the 10 Asean nations (Burma, Brunei, Cambodia, Philippines, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) reached an agreement on the draft on Thursday, following two days of meetings in the city of Guiyang. The draft establishes a solid foundation for the next round of negotiations, said Liu Zhenmin, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, at a press conference. The Asean had pledged in April to finalise the code of conduct to diffuse tensions in the South China Sea, Efe news reported. Four Asean members, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam, along with Taiwan and China, contest the sovereignty of several islands of this strategic maritime space, which Beijing claims almost in its entirety.