Carlyle A. Thayer

During the third quarter, China reaffirmed its support for multilateralism by attending a series of meetings held in conjunction with the annual gathering of ASEAN foreign ministers and by hosting a four-nation ministerial conference on drug control. On the bilateral level, Thailand’s prime minister visited China, while Li Peng, chairman of the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress, journeyed to Hanoi. China and ASEAN were still unable to reach agreement on a Code of Conduct for the South China Sea. Officials are now studying a compromise formulation drafted by the Philippines.