He said that this week’s meeting of Chinese senior officials with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) gave way to the next stage of negotiations in establishing the CoC.
The 10 foreign ministers of ASEAN kick off their 48th meeting on Saturday.
Four of the six nations that lay claim to portions of the South China Sea are members of the regional political, cultural and economic alliance.
Last week, the Chinese navy launched 10-day military exercises in the waters of the South China Sea near eastern Hainan Island.
Beijing’s pursuit of the South China Sea and reclamation projects in the Spratly Islands has led to deteriorating relations with the United States and its close regional ally Japan.