Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha (Source: Xinhua/VNA)
Singapore (VNA) – Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha called on ASEAN to promote its role in building security balance in the region while the opening the 15th Shangri-La Dialogue on June 3 in Singapore.

Noting that global security is facing many challenges, including both traditional and non-traditional forces, he held that ASEAN member countries should strengthen dialogues to raise mutual understanding, cooperation and support, while bringing opportunities and support to countries with interior problems.

The Thai PM asserted that the grouping plays an important role in establishing new balance in the region.

Regarding the East Sea issue, he urged parties to choose cooperation instead of confrontation, while stressing the importance of consensus in the East Sea issue for peace and stability in the sea.

He emphasised the strengthening of maritime and overflight freedom, while supporting the settlement of disputes peacefully in line with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS).

The Thai leader also highlighted the need to fully implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, as well as the importance of finalising the Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

Meanwhile, speaking at the top regional security talks, US Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter warned that China is building a great wall isolating itself, when continuing militarisation in the East Sea.

He reconfirmed that the US is on no side in the East Sea dispute, but the country supports the maintenance of maritime security in the region, as well as the resolution of disputes through peaceful measures in respect to international law.

At the same time, Japanese Defence Minister General Nakatani said Tokyo is deeply concerned about unilateral efforts to change the status quo in the East Sea .

He stressed that no country is an outsider on issues related to regional stability.

According to General Nakatani, peace and stability in Asia-Pacific will reinforce prosperity of not only the region, but the whole world community.

The Shangri-La Dialogue provides a platform for participants to discuss and defence and security concerns inside and beyond the region.

The Singapore Shangri-La Dialogue brought together 600 delegates, including 20 defence ministers from ASEAN, Asia, Europe and the US.-VNA