BEIJING, May 24 (Xinhua) -- Consultations on the Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea between China and the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) members will not be disrupted by interference from the outside, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Sunday.
The situation in the South China Sea has stabilized as a result of concerted efforts between China and the ASEAN member states in recent years, Wang said at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual national legislative session.
China and the ASEAN members have made many progresses in cooperation in terms of maritime search and rescue, marine environmental protection, marine scientific research and other fields.
Meanwhile, consultations on the COC in the South China Sea are also accelerating and advancing in an orderly manner, Wang said, adding that the second reading of the draft negotiating text of the COC has been launched.
"China and ASEAN members have agreed to conclude the COC at an early date, a goal we are confident and determined to achieve," he said, noting that no outside interference can distract or sabotage such efforts.
Wang said China will continue to strengthen cooperation with ASEAN members, resume the COC consultations suspended due to the COVID-19 epidemic as soon as possible, and explore new ways of maritime cooperation to safeguard peace, stability, development and prosperity in the South China Sea. Enditem