MANILA, Philippines-- With ASEAN and China agreeing to start talks on a Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea, threats of miscalculation and misunderstanding among claimant countries will be greatly reduced, Philippine News Agency (PNA) reported Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana as saying on Friday.

"I think so, They themselves are saying that they want it.

"So I believe they are sincere. President (Rodrigo Duterte) also believes that they are sincere and we are pursuing that, together with the other claimants, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and us. We will be going to the table and talk about things that will benefit everybody," Lorenzana said when asked whether the COC would be productive for all parties concerned.

With parties talking, a major benefit is that there would be no miscalculation and misunderstanding among the claimants, he added.

The defence chief also said that Filipino fishermen could continue fishing in the disputed waters and the Philippines could continue developing islands under its control and jurisdiction.

"Our benefit is there will be no miscalculation, misunderstanding? Our fishermen will have unlimited access, and at the same time, we are going to continue developing the islands under our control," he said.

On Monday, ASEAN leaders and China have agreed to start talks on the COC based on the Framework approved by the Foreign Ministers in August.


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