Jakarta ● Wed, January 25 2023
As this year's ASEAN chair, Jakarta must use its diplomatic capital to advance negotiations on the bloc's unfinished Code of Conduct (COC) for the South China Sea, analysts have said, as the region's geopolitical tensions seem set to intensify.
For more than a decade, ASEAN has been working with China to produce a set of guidelines, the COC, to prevent open conflict in the South China Sea, but progress has been slow as a result of conflicting interests and, more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic.
But with China finally reopening its borders and bolstering its economic cooperation with ASEAN countries this year, COC negotiations are also expected to resume.
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