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Beijing sets conditions for new South China Sea code of conduct

China wants outside parties excluded, ASEAN agrees to wait until November

A Chinese warship sails in the South China Sea.   © Xinhua/Kyodo

MANILA -- The Association of Southeast Asian Nations and China may start actual negotiations in November on a code of conduct to help resolve complex territorial disputes in the South China Sea -- provided that the situation is calm and "outside parties" stop interfering, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here on Sunday.

"When the situation in the South China Sea is generally stable, and if there is no major disruption from outside parties as the precondition, then we will consider during the November leaders' meeting -- we will jointly announce -- the official start of the COC conversation," Wang told reporters after meeting with his ASEAN counterparts.

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