Chinese Premier Li says hopes for South China Sea code in three years


FILE PHOTO: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang attends a joint news conference with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (not pictured) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing November 7, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/Pool

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – China’s Premier Li Keqiang said on Tuesday that Beijing hoped a consultation with Southeast Asian nations on a code of conduct in the disputed South China Sea would be completed in three years, and that such an deal would be conducive for free trade.

In his remarks in a speech delivered in Singapore, he also said he hoped to finalize a major trade pact with 15 other countries called the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in 2019.

Writing by John Geddie; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan

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