JAKARTA: The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) is seeking early talks with China to discuss a code of conduct to manage tensions over the disputed South China Sea, the bloc's new chief said Wednesday.
China claims most of the sea, including a vital shipping lane and resource-rich areas. The Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei have overlapping claims in the area, as does Taiwan.
"Asean should speed up efforts towards an early start of negotiations with China with a view to achieving an early conclusion of a code of conduct on the South China Sea," Asean Secretary-General Le Luong Minh said.
Newly inaugurated Asean Secretary-General Le Luong Minh of Vietnam, left, shakes hands with outgoing former Surin Pitsuwan during the office handover ceremony. (Reuters photo)
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