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The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China have agreed to start negotiations on a code of conduct on the South China Sea, Malacañang said.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the code of conduct in the disputed waters was among the outcomes during the meeting between ASEAN leaders and China.

“One of the outcomes of the meetings is to commence the negotiations on a substantive and effective Code of Conduct in the South China Sea after concluding the Framework Agreement on Code of Conduct,” Roque said.

In August, ASEAN foreign ministers and their Chinese counterparts approved a framework for a Code of Conduct (COC) on the disputed waters.

Meanwhile, other outcomes in the ASEAN-China Summit which President Rodrigo Duterte chaired included the ASEAN-China Joint Statement on Comprehensively Strengthening Effective Anti-Corruption Cooperation; the ASEAN-China Leaders’ Statement on Tourism Cooperation; and the Joint Statement between China and ASEAN on Further Deepening the Cooperation of Infrastructure Connectivity.

“The President has expressed optimism about the future direction of ASEAN-China dialogue relations based on the substantive discussions during the ASEAN-China Summit this afternoon,” Roque said. (PNA)

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