State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks at a news conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress in Beijing, March 8, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]
China and ASEAN countries will speed up negotiation of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea on the basis of consensus and give updates of the progress to the public at appropriate time , State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Friday.
China and ASEAN countries will stay focused and eliminate interference, and maintain necessary transparency during the negotiation of the COC, Wang told a news conference in Beijing.
Wang noted that situation in the South China Sea has stabilized and improved, and the COC negotiation is gathering pace under a clear roadmap.
China welcomes well-intentioned advice and opposes deliberate smears and intervention, he added.
He said that peace and stability of the South China Sea is grasped by regional countries, and the COC should be commonly established and abided by.
The COC is an upgrade of the Declaration on Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, which is more suited to regional needs, more effective in regulating conduct of relevant parties and provides stronger guarantees to safeguard the navigation safety and freedom in the South China Sea, he added.