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China and ASEAN Approved COC Framework in the South China Sea

Time£º2017/08/14 15:49:38 View£º hits

On 6th August 2017, China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers¡¯ meeting has approved the framework of the Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea in Manila, Philippine, which was a sign of the great growth in easing the tension of dispute waters, promoting regional peace and stability of South China Sea area, and also is of great significance in managing the differences between China and ASEAN nations.


During the Foreign Ministers¡¯ meeting this year, China brought forward the ¡°Three Steps¡± project on advancing the progress of COC framework¡¯s conclusion. As Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, the first step was to have all the 11 Foreign Ministers to confirm the framework of the COC and to initiate a substantive consultation within this year. The second step was to finalize and implement the ideas, principles and plans discussed at the meeting. The third step was to formally announce the commencement of consultation on the COC conclusion when all the preparatory work is done.


However, South China Sea disputes are very complicated. It is not easy to reach a consensus on how to solve the disputes. The interests of several interest groups shall be considered and balanced and the best compromise shall be sought. At the time when China and ASEAN nations made great efforts and make a good progress on the South China Sea disputes, United States, Australia and Japan, as extraterritorial countries, published a joint statement condemning China, and trying to drive a wedge between China and ASEAN countries. The behavior is not only harmful to regional peace, but also might cause uncertainties to the South China Sea disputes resolutions.


Anyway the approval of COC framework is a big step forward and reflects a common determination to solve the South China Sea disputes among China and ASEAN countries and to promote the peace of South Sea area. This will also promote the economic and trade exchanges between China and ASEAN countries, and expand business ties among the neighboring countries based on equality, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation.