Reuters: Indonesia plans to intensify talks with China and other Southeast Asian countries to finalize a code of conduct (COC) for the disputed South China Sea, its foreign minister said on Saturday, amid escalating tensions in the strategic waterway.
Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi was speaking in Jakarta at the close of a meeting between foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the 10-member regional bloc chaired by Indonesia this year. “Asean’s outlook on the Indo-Pacific was central to the discussion,” she said. “We also discussed the COC, the commitment of members to conclude the negotiation of the COC as soon as possible.”
Negotiations on the COC – a proposed framework to help tackle territorial and maritime disputes in the waterway – have stalled for years as some member states prioritized bilateral ties with China over a regional consensus.
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