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International relations

China tells 'nonregional' players to stay out of South China Sea

Beijing and ASEAN conclude first round of 'code of conduct' talks

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi attends the ASEAN-China ministerial meeting in Bangkok, Thailand on July 31.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- China and Southeast Asian countries wrapped up the first round of negotiations for a South China Sea code of conduct on Wednesday, setting the stage for tougher diplomatic brinkmanship that includes Beijing's bid to push the U.S. out of the disputed waters.

The first reading of the draft negotiating text was concluded in Penang, Malaysia, earlier this month and includes "maximum positions" by China and the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, diplomatic sources said. The first draft is likely to be endorsed by the countries' leaders when they gather for a summit in Thailand in November.

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