Sunday, August 20, 2017 - 20:26:14

ASEAN-China senior officials meet on DOC implementation

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Senior officials of ASEAN member countries and China gathered in Beijing on Jan. 14 for their fourth meeting (SOM) on the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).

At the meeting, parties reviewed DOC implementation, and discussed measures to put into practice the document guiding the implementation of the DOC and the working schedule of SOM and the joint working group in 2012.

They stressed the principles set in the DOC, particularly ensuring peace, stability, maritime security and safety, solving disputes through peaceful measures, not using or threatening the use of force, respecting international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982), and continuing dialogue to build up trust.

The parties need to exert further efforts in fully and efficiently implementing commitments and regulations set in the DOC, refrain from any act that can make the situation more complicated, respect sovereignty and jurisdiction of coastal nations over the economic exclusive zones and continental shelves in accordance with the UNCLOS 1982.

The meeting emphasised the mechanism to ensure the implementation of DOC by raising efficiency and the role of the ASEAN-China SOM and joint working group meetings.

The meeting also considered proposals on holding symposiums on experience sharing and cooperation in marine environment, search and rescue, risk mitigation and research on maritime eco-system and bio-diversity, as trust-building measures.

The event also agreed to uphold the DOC significance and organise an anniversary workshop in this year to mark a decade of their signing the DOC.

At the meeting, the delegation of Vietnam , in capacity of a coordinator in ASEAN-China relations, delivered a speech on the grouping’s common view, saying that peace, stability, maritime security, safety and freedom are the common aspiration and interest of all regional and non-regional countries, therefore countries have to join hands for the goals.

Concerned parties should commit to settling disputes through peaceful measures, on the basis of respecting international law, particularly the UNCLOS 1982, and rights of sovereignty and jurisdiction of coastal nations over their economic exclusive zones and the 200 nautical mile continental shelves as stipulated in the UNCLOS 1982.

They should fully implement regulations in the DOC and build the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) soon.

ASEAN supports the increase of trust-building dialogues between ASEAN and China in order to fully implement the DOC, and welcomes the adoption of the document guiding DOC implementation, the Vietnamese delegation said.

The meeting agreed to hold the fifth ASEAN-China SOM and joint working group meeting in 2012./.
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