"When the situation in the South China Sea is generally stable and if there is no major disruption from outside parties, as a precondition, then we will consider during the November (ASEAN) leaders' meeting, we will jointly announce the official start of the COC consultations", Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told journalists.
It is hoped this will facilitate work for the conclusion of an effective COC on a mutually agreed timeline.
"We want to make sure China is continuing to implement fully the sanctions regime", Thornton told reporters in Manila.
However, Australia, the US and Japan, have urged the signatories of the framework to ensure that it is legally binding and manifested their opposition to "coercive unilateral actions".
China's claims of sovereignty over the South China Sea were entirely rejected by a decision handed down by a court of arbitration in July past year.
Meanwhile, a research report said that Global trade through the South China Sea totaled 28 trillion US dollars from 2008 to 2016, with annual value rising from 2.61 trillion dollars in 2008 to 3.37 trillion in 2016. One of the placards reads "President Duterte, where are the jet ski and Philippine flag in West Philippine Sea".
This came as Asean foreign ministers issued their joint communique that called for non-militarisation in the South China Sea and noting concerns by some ministers on the land reclamations in the area.
"(Such actions) have eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions and may undermine peace, security and stability in the region", they said. It said the resolution showed the United Nations had abused its authority. Last month, it test-launched two intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.
"This is really about the spirit of these talks, and they (North Korea) can demonstrate that they're ready to sit with a spirit of finding a way forward in these talks by no longer conducting these missile tests".
"Neither shall we flinch even an inch from the road to bolstering up the nuclear forces chosen by ourselves, unless the hostile policy and nuclear threat of the USA against [North Korea] are fundamentally eliminated", he said.
Wang said at a news conference in Manila that those three conditions include non-interference by "outside parties", obviously referring to the United States, which Beijing has frequently accused of meddling in the territorial disputes.
He noted that Asean has played an important role in securing regional peace and stability since its founding half a century ago, and it has become a force that represents the world's developing multipolar nature.
"It's a common stand for Asean because the ARF is the lone opportunity for North Korea attends".
It was not immediately clear whether the statement was read to the ASEAN Regional Forum on Monday.
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