THE Philippines welcomed the finalization of the draft framework for the South China Sea (SCS) Code of Conduct (CoC).
On Thursday, ASEAN and China agreed on the CoC framework during a meeting in Guiyang, China.
The Code of Conduct will govern the actions of claimant countries in the disputed South China Sea to manage tension in the region.
Foreign Affairs spokesman Robespierre Bolivar said “the Philippines welcomes the finalization by Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China senior officials of the draft of the framework of the Code of Conduct.”
“The Philippines reaffirms its commitment to working towards an effective Code of Conduct for the South China Sea,” the spokesman stressed.
Bolivar said the draft framework, which was completed ahead of the mid-2017 goal set by the leaders of ASEAN and China, contains elements which the parties have agreed upon.
The draft framework will be presented to the Foreign Ministers of ASEAN and China at their post-ministerial conference in Manila in August 2017 for their consideration.
China’s foreign ministry said that the talks had been candid and deep and made positive achievements.
All parties “uphold using the framework of regional rules to manage and control disputes, to deepen practical maritime cooperation, to promote consultation on the code and jointly maintain the peace and stability of the South China Sea,” it added.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhemin said the framework was comprehensive and took into account the concerns of all sides.