The relations between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are multi-faceted and the East Sea is one, said Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a recent interview to Japan’s Nikkei media group.

“It is an issue between China and ASEAN in the sense that ASEAN has an interest in the stability of the region and ASEAN is discussing a Code of Conduct with China and, in fact, ASEAN has a Declaration of Conduct with China,” the PM said when he began his two-day visit to Japan to attend the international conference on The Future of Asia.

So to that extent, ASEAN is engaged in this issue, he said, adding that it is one aspect of the relations between ASEAN and China.

“There are many other aspects; many of them are very positive - cooperation, financial assistance, human resource development, trade and we have an ASEAN-China free trade agreement, which we are planning to enhance,” Lee noted.

The East Sea issue lies within the ASEAN-China multi-faceted ties, he said, affirming “we will have to try our best to make sure that it does not colour the whole relationship.”-VNA