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ASEAN Military Chiefs Endorse Early South China Sea Code

Burma's commander-in-chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing talks to journalists during a press conference of the 11th ASEAN Chief of Defense Forces Informal Meeting in Naypyitaw, Burma (Myanmar), March 5, 2014.
Military chiefs from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, have renewed their group's call for an early conclusion to talks over a Code of Conduct in the disputed South China Sea.

After hosting a meeting in Naypyitaw Wednesday, Burmese Army Chief, General Min Aung Hlaing, said a Code of Conduct is critical for the region.

“We reiterate that an early completion of the Code of Conduct (COC) related to the South China Seas is of the utmost importance for regional stability and security in the seas,” he said.

The group's statement Wednesday added that ASEAN should help find a solution to the maritime disputes with China.

But General Min Aung Hlaing indicated his own army's position is more in line with China's view.

“The territorial dispute in the South China Seas must be peacefully solved between the two countries or among the countries involved in the dispute. This is the position the Burmese military has already made known," said Min.

Burma, also known as Myanmar, is the current chair of ASEAN. Four members, Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia, have maritime territorial disputes with Beijing in the South China Sea.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Burmese service.