The 24th ASEAN Summit’s Statement on the East Sea situation has received praise from international state leaders, experts and media.

The summit took place in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, amid tensions in the East Sea due to China’s illegal deployment of the Haiyang Shiyou – 981 drilling rig and escort ships in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

The statement released by the members called for self-restraint and non use of force in the East Sea, and declared that the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) should be implemented in accordance with international laws.

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong commended the statement, signed by the 10 ASEAN member countries on May 10, saying ASEAN must hold a view in the current situation because the security and stability of the region depends on what happens in the East Sea.

Sharing the same opinion, Filipino President Benigno Aquino said that he is satisfied with the unanimity of leaders of the ASEAN members as well as the joint statement.

Aquino’s Indonesian counterpart Bambang Yudhoyono told Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung that Indonesia can help coordinate communication between Hanoi and Beijing in order to avoid the escalation of tensions.

Meanwhile, experts agreed that this is the first time ASEAN has had a firm common stance on the tense situation in the East Sea.

They also highlighted the important significance of the group’s special statement on the East Sea situation, agreeing that it shows the backing for Vietnam.

In addition, the French news agency wrote that ASEAN’s statement has set up a “unified front” in opposing China’s unilateral act in the East Sea.-VNA