Asean must pay heed to negotiations, outcomes of Code of Conduct


NEGOTIATIONS for the Code of Conduct (CoC) in the South China Sea have stalled, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 2021 conclusion target anticipated by Premier Li Keqiang appears increasingly unlikely. Some stakeholders have proposed negotiations via video-conferencing, while others insist on face-to-face meetings.

That aside, questions remain on the final output, quality and effective implementation of the CoC. Statements by Asean officials and their Chinese counterparts often brim with confidence. The reality is somewhat less encouraging.

The following four issues demand consideration.