China, ASEAN arrive at single draft negotiating text of COC in S. China Sea

Li Jiayao

SINGAPORE, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have arrived at a single draft negotiating text of the Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Thursday.

Wang made the remarks at the China-ASEAN foreign ministers' meeting.

The draft text will serve as the basis of future COC negotiations.

It is another significant progress on the negotiation of COC, Wang noted.

"I believe that the negotiation on COC can be speeded up if we exclude external interference," Wang said.

Facts will prove that China and ASEAN member states are capable of maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea and reaching regional rules adhered to by all through negotiations, Wang said.

China has dispatched its most advanced rescue ship equipped with professional search-and-rescue teams to the Nansha Islands days ago which will be stationed there to carry out various missions, and the ship will provide maritime assistance for ships from the countries around the world when necessary, he said.

China will provide service on scientific research and meteorology for the regional countries in the future, Wang added.

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