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South China Sea Code of Conduct, COVID-19 pandemic top agenda of meet

By: - Reporter / @JeromeAningINQ
/ 05:00 AM July 12, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The ongoing negotiations for a new South China Sea Code of Conduct and the continuing battle to contain the new coronavirus disease were among the items discussed in the recent Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean)-China senior officials’ consultation held for the first time, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Friday.

The Philippines, in its capacity as country coordinator for Asean-China dialogue relations for 2018 to 2021, cochaired the meeting last July 1, which reviewed progress in Asean-China strategic partnership and discuss its future direction.

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Regional peace

Foreign Assistant Secretary Junever Mahilum-West, director-general of the Asean-Philippines National Secretariat, represented the Philippine delegation while the Chinese delegation was led by Chen Xiaodong, assistant foreign minister.

In a statement, the DFA said the senior officials exchanged views on the “collective aspiration to agree to an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the South China Sea that will contribute to regional peace, security and stability and is in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.”

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“Asean and China discussed maritime cooperation initiatives to further build trust and confidence in the region,” the DFA said.

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