China, ASEAN see 'smooth progress' on COC in South China Sea: FM

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China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries have witnessed "smooth progress" over consultation on a Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea during a recent joint meeting, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said Friday.

China and ASEAN countries held the 27th joint working group meeting on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea from Wednesday to Thursday in Naypyitaw, capital of Myanmar, spokesperson Lu Kang told a routine press briefing.

"It was by far the first meeting this year on implementing the DOC mechanism," Lu said, noting that China and ASEAN countries have had an in-depth and candid exchange of views over issues such as the implementation of the declaration as well as promoting the consultation on a COC in the South China Sea.

Back in 2018, Chinese leaders proposed completing the consultation of a COC in the South China Sea within three years, which received positive responses from ASEAN countries, the spokesperson added.

"During the meeting, with the momentum of dialogue and cooperation, China and ASEAN countries continued to carry forward the examination and reading of the COC text in an efficient and orderly manner, building consensus all the time," Lu said.

"We have seen overall smooth progress so far on the consultation of the COC text," he added.

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