ASEAN Member States will meet with China to discuss West Philippine Sea

BEIJING, CHINA - SEPTEMBER 01:  Philippine Pre...
President Benigno S. Aquino III called on ASEAN Member States to arrive at a common position on a regional Code of Conduct (COC) before meeting with China to craft a proposed legally binding document that would guide claimant states in the West Philippine Sea.
Speaking at the plenary session of the 20th ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on April 3, 2012, President Aquino stressed that the fundamentals of the proposed COC should be internal to ASEAN Member States.
“It is important that we maintain ASEAN centrality,” President Aquino said during the meeting attended by ASEAN Leaders. “After the COC has been finalized by ASEAN, then ASEAN Member States will meet with China.”
The report of the ASEAN Secretary-General to the ASEAN Leaders indicated that China is ready to engage ASEAN on the drafting of the COC as soon as possible.
The ASEAN-China Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) signed in Phnom Penh in 2002, envisions the formulation of a Code of Conduct.
The implementation of the DOC is one of the agenda items of the 20th ASEAN Summit.