Illustrative image (Source: Manila Bulletin)
Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman on May 20 expressed hope that ASEAN and China could conclude a framework of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) at the end of this year.

Anifah said negotiations for COC are heading in a positive direction, adding that the COC framework would be made public once completed.

Though COC is not legally-binding, it will be a guideline for security and peace of all those involved, he said.

Earlier on May 18, ASEAN and Chinese senior officials completed negotiations on the draft COC framework in the Chinese province of Guizhou, which will be submitted to the ASEAN-China Ministerial Meeting for consideration.

As scheduled, the joint working group on the COC will convene a meeting in the Philippines in September.-VNA