China says it is ready to work with Asean for the peace of the South China Sea

BANGKOK: China is ready to work with Southeast Asian countries for long-term peace and stability in the South China Sea, the Chinese prime minister said Sunday after meeting with leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean)

Several members of Asean reject China's extensive maritime claims in the South China Sea, which have competitive claims on the busy waterway.

On the summit in Bangkok , Li cited the progress in a long-awaited code of conduct of the South China Sea, which will be completed within three years.

We are willing to work with Asean, under the consensus reached, to maintain long-term peace and stability in the South China Sea, according to the three-year calendar, Li said in a statement.

A legally binding code has long been an objective for ASEAN members to discuss what they see as China's disregard for sovereign rights and its obstruction of its exploration and energy fishing.

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