Illustrative photo (Photo: VNA)

Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – Ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are expected to discuss a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in Singapore next week, said the Malaysian Foreign Minister.

The meeting is set to take place amid concerns over China's increasing militarisation in the area, Straits Times cited Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah as saying.

He said the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) that was signed in 2002 by ASEAN and China does not appear to have "fangs".

The construction of military bases and the deployment of military assets by China on its man-made islands in the East Sea have created unease among ASEAN countries, he told the Malaysian Parliament in response to questions on Malaysia's stance.

China also deploys coast guard ships resembling warships in the strategic waterway, a move that has added to jitters in the region, said the minister.

All parties need to avoid actions that can create tensions and are provocative, practise self-restraint and avoid military actions, he stressed.-VNA