Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (L) and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at a meeting on November 12 (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on November 13 that negotiations with ASEAN nations on a code of conduct (COC) in the East Sea would be completed in three years.

Speaking during his visit to Singapore, Li said that over the past few years, the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) has played an important role in maintaining peace and stability in the region, and China hopes that this will create chances to help obtain important strides in the COC consultation.

Earlier, in talks with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Li said Beijing is ready to join regional countries’ efforts in accelerating the COC consultation process.

Last August, ASEAN and China agreed on a “single draft” negotiating text of the COC, an important stride towards narrowing differences among parties. It is considered the basis of future negotiations on a substantive, effective and efficient COC in conformity with international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. –VNA