Wang Yi: China welcomes proposals on COC, opposes speculation, interference
Updated 13:33, 08-Mar-2019

China welcomes well-meaning proposals, but opposes speculation and interference with ulterior motives during the negotiation of the Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Friday.

Wang made the remarks at a press conference in Beijing on the sidelines of the second session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC).

He stressed the COC should be formulated, abided by and shared by the regional countries.

Facts have proved that the right way to solve the South China Sea issue is to resolve specific disputes through negotiations between the direct parties and to jointly safeguard regional stability between China and ASEAN countries, Wang noted.

He said that the process of the COC negotiation is accelerating and the road map has been very clear.

China actively proposed to complete talks on the COC in the South China Sea within three years, which demonstrates our sincerity and commitment, Wang added.

He stressed that the COC as an upgraded version of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea will better meet the needs of the region, more effectively regulate the conduct of all parties and more effectively safeguard the safety and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.

Moreover, the COC will play its due role in enhancing mutual trust, controlling differences, promoting cooperation and maintaining stability between China and ASEAN countries, Wang added.

China will maintain its determination, eliminate interference and continuously accelerate the consultation process on the basis of consensus with ASEAN countries. 

The Chinese foreign minister also pointed out it is a common practice that no negotiation will be made public during the process. But we will maintain the necessary transparency and publicize the progress of the negotiations in a timely manner.