Filipine FM lauds COC draft a breakthrough

Added On August 9, 2018

 The Filipino Foreign Secretary has said the single negotiating text draft of the Code of Conduct (COC) reached by China and ASEAN is a breakthrough.

World News has more.
China and ASEAN states signed the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties (DOC) in the South China Sea in 2002, which outlines the most important principles relating to the South China sea issues.
The COC is a document aimed at implementing DOC. The negotiations and consultations for the document began in 2013.
Hailing the single draft as a breakthrough, Filipine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said the ASEAN members and China see eye to eye terms of the need for an effective code of conduct.
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): ALAN PETER CAYETANO, Philippine Foreign Secretary       
"But for me, the most basic is that we don’t want accidents to happen that can lead to conflict in this area. We(The Philippines)are taking a progressive but cautious view on all of this and hoping that the code of conduct in the South China Sea will have a framework that will make all of these, as a matter of fact, every year so that we can find some kind of solution in the future."
Last week in Singapore, foreign ministers from ASEAN members and China agreed on a single draft document, which will be the basis of the negotiations for the COC.
The Philippine foreign affair chief said the timeline for the formal negotiations is still being discussed.
He reiterated that no one is expecting the negotiations to be easy, but everyone is looking forward to the day that the COC can actually be signed.
China and ASEAN member states will hold a joint maritime exercise in the South China Sea in October.
Cayetano said the plan of the joint exercise "is very important" to the region.
"It’s very important that there are joint military exercises if only to prevent accidents and for military-to-military relations to grow so that we can talk to each other better."
Founded in 1967, ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. 
The Philippines assumed the role of ASEAN-China coordinator in August.