ASEAN, Chinese senior officials convene 12th meeting on DOC hinh anh 1In the East Sea (Source: VNA)
Quang Ninh (VNA) – ASEAN and Chinese senior officials reviewed the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and discussed the building of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) during their 12th meeting in the northern province of Quang Ninh on June 9.

Deputy Foreign Minister Le Hoai Trung led the Vietnamese delegation to the event, which was co-chaired by China and Singapore, which coordinates the relations between ASEAN and China

The ASEAN member countries expressed concern over the recent developments in the East Sea while laying an emphasis on the importance of the sea and the international community’s interest in the recent situation there.

The ASEAN member states and China reaffirmed the significance of fully and effectively realising the DOC to foster trust and practical cooperation, contributing to maintaining peace, stability, maritime and aviation security and safety.

In committing to doing so, they particularly stressed the full and efficient implementation of Article 4 on peaceful settlement of disputes, Article 5 on self-restraint, Article 6 on cooperation promotion, and Article 10 on COC building, of the DOC.

Participants discussed the nature of the COC as well as approaches to designing it for the first time.

They agreed to draft guidelines on launching a hotline on response to urgent contingencies at sea for ASEAN and Chinese senior officials, as well as complete the formulation of the ASEAN-China Joint Statement on the Implementation of the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea, considering them concrete outcomes ahead of the commemorative summit for the 25 th anniversary of ASEAN-China relations in September in Laos.

Countries agreed that the next senior officials’ meeting and the meeting of the ASEAN-China Joint Working Group (JWG) on the Implementation of DOC will be held in August in China.

The meeting also debated preparations for the special meeting of the ASEAN and Chinese foreign ministers slated for June 14 in Kunming, China.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Foreign Minister Trung asserted that Vietnam and ASEAN place special importance on their relations with China and that peace and stability in the East Sea are tied closely with peace, stability and prosperity of countries in and outside the region.

He called on ASEAN and China to fully and effectively realise DOC, particularly specifying the document’s Article 5 via adopting the building of a list of to-do and not-to-do actions in the East Sea while promoting practical collaboration at sea.

He stressed the need to promptly reach a COC to manage and prevent disputes, creating an environment conducive to the peaceful settlement of disputes.

The Deputy FM proposed increasing meetings and discussions on practical issues, especially the COC drafting and deadline, and expressed support to “early harvest” measures and continuous studies.-VNA