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Friday, May 19, 2017

Daily Lessons from Life 18 May 2017 - Code of Conducts for South China Sea

"18 May 2017 07:23PM CNA (Updated: 18 May 2017 07:45PM)

BEIJING: China and Southeast Asian countries agreed on Thursday (May 18) to a draft framework for a long-mooted code of conduct (COC) for the disputed South China Sea, China's foreign ministry said.

China and the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) had been hoping to this year agree on the framework, 15 years after committing to draft it.

Some ASEAN diplomats have expressed concern about whether China is being sincere, or whether ASEAN has enough leverage to get Beijing to commit to a set of rules.

After a meeting between Chinese and ASEAN officials in the southern city of Guiyan, China's foreign ministry said the draft framework had been agreed upon, although it gave no details of its contents.

“We are pleased to announce that the senior officials have completed the negotiations of the draft COC (code of conduct) framework, ahead of the mid-2017 timeline which leaders of ASEAN and China had set."

15 years r a long time. Still it is better than nothing!! I think.

It should be quick n easy to do once the initial rules r laid out n broadly agreed upon. Or is it?

Maybe the parties will spend another 15 years to produce the actual COC? Whatever. It is still a reason to hold a press conference n a celebratory party n spend some serious money. No? That's what all the regional quasi government organisations like ASEAN Secretariat, OECD whatever n APEC whatever, etc. etc. do? Spend money with no accountability!!

Hv fun with the drafting. Maybe we can rejoice at a common Asean communique after all!! Champaign anyone?

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