What is the South China Sea code of conduct, and why does it matter?

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Besides celebrating the organisation’s half century of existence, the parley also brings together top diplomats from non-members such as the US, China, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, India, Russia, Australia, New Zealand and participants in forums such as the Asean Plus Three, the East Asia Summit and the Asean Regional Forum.
China and Asean agree to draft code of conduct in South China Sea
 
The Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed that foreign ministers from Asean and China would formally endorse the document called “Framework of the code of conduct in the South China Sea,” during their meeting in Manila on Sunday.
 
What is the code of conduct in the South China Sea?
A code of conduct is a set of rules outlining the norms and rules and responsibilities of, or proper practices for, an individual, party or organisation.
 
Asean and China agreed to set up a code of conduct in the South China Sea during a 2002 summit amid heightened tensions in the disputed waters. The region in question includes one of the world’s most important shipping lanes, believed to be rich in mineral and marine resources.
 
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