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Jakarta Post

ASEAN, China looking to restart talks on South China Sea

  • Dian Septiari

    Jakarta

PREMIUM
Jakarta   /   Tue, January 26 2021   /  01:00 am
Sea tension: Filipino fishermen sail past US coastguard ship Bertholf during a joint exercise between Philippine and US coastguards near Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea on May 14, 2019. Philippine coastguard ships BRP Batangas and Kalanggaman participated in the exercise, which was monitored by two Chinese coastguard ships. (AFP/Ted Aljibe)

After more than a year without progress, ASEAN and China are looking into meeting again in person to continue negotiations for a Code of Conduct (COC) on the South China Sea, which is hoped to be concluded this year. ASEAN foreign ministers met online last week to discuss various regional matters including progress on the COC – a requirement from the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties (DOC) in the South China Sea that remains elusive nearly two decades later. Officials from both sides were looking at the possibility of having their negotiators meet in person, as opposed to engaging virtually, which has become the new norm under the COVID-19 pandemic, said Sidharto Suryodipuro, the Foreign Ministry’s director general for ASEAN affairs. “There’s an urgency to continue the talks because of the delays in the past year,” he told The Jakarta Post ...