An international seminar on peace and stability in the East Sea and Asia-Pacific was held in Jakarta, Indonesia on Sept. 20.

At the event, Indonesian Defence Minsiter Purnomo Yusgiantoro affirmed that maintaining peace and stability in the East Sea is a legitimate matter of concern of many countries.

He also expressed his concern that conflicts between big countries in the region will erode ASEAN’s central role and solidarity in the group.

Therefore, he stressed the ASEAN should reaffirm the consensus about the recently-reached six-point principles on the East Sea issues.

"In the immediate future it is important for ASEAN to give high priority to the finalisation of the formulation of a regional code of conduct (COC) on the East Sea and to engage China as soon as possible," the minister said.

He also expressed his belief that the COC will serve as an effective instrument to prevent the pending jurisdictional disputes from degenerating into serious tension, or let alone, open conflicts in the East Sea.

The presentation on Vietnam’s stance and recent developments in the East Sea by Vietnamese representative, Dr. Do Xuan Vinh, highlighted ASEAN’s efforts to consolidate its central role and solidarity in the emerging regional architecture, in dealing with the East Sea issues, the implementation of the DOC and looking towards a COC. He also noted the positive intervention of big countries inside and outside the region in economics, trade and the East Sea.

Participants to the event, jointly organised by the Centre for Asian Strategic Studies-India (CASS-India), the Institute of Defence and Security Studies (IODAS), and the Indonesia Maritime Studies (IMS), highly appreciated ASEAN and China’s joint efforts towards COC negotiations.

They expressed hope that the COC will be finalised and take effect as early as possible.

In their opinions, ASEAN and China should build trust, commit to the full and effective implementation of DOC and soon finalise COC as well as support joint efforts to resolve the East Sea issues made by regional and non-regional countries.

They stressed that ASEAN should take responsibility and initiative to prevent the escalation of disputes in the East Sea.

In the future, concerned parties should restrain themselves and commit to neither to use force nor threat to use force, nor conduct activities to complicate the situation.

They should also boost defence cooperation for the interest of the region, respect and effectively implement the DOC, looking towards the finalisation of the COC and gradually institutionalise the cooperation and management process of disputes in the East Sea, according to the delegates.-VNA