Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Vinh has affirmed the importance of the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity at a retreat attended by senior officials from both sides in Pattaya, Thailand on October 28-29.

Addressing the ASEAN-China Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) Retreat, Vinh stated that the effective implementation of cooperation activities within the framework of the ASEAN-China Plan of Action in the 2011-2015 period, including the full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and looking towards a Code of Conduct (COC), also provides a practical contribution to strengthening this partnership.

Regarding the East Sea , the Vietnamese senior diplomat emphasised the high importance of peace, stability, maritime security and safety in the East Sea towards the regional situation.

Concerned parties should strengthen cooperation and build trust on the basic of respecting international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982), he said, adding that they also need to fully and effectively implement the DOC and ASEAN’s six-point principle on the East Sea.

Vinh stressed that as the drafting of the COC is the common concern and interest of both ASEAN and China as well as the whole region, the parties should soon start negotiations on the COC in the spirit of cooperation and responsibility in order to ensure the COC will become a more effective tool for safeguarding peace, stability, maritime security and safety in the Ease Sea as well as to ensure peaceful resolution for disputes and the conformity of international law and UNCLOS 1982, including provisions on respecting continental shelves and exclusive economic zones of coastal nations.

In this process, ASEAN should manifest the grouping’s responsibility and central role for the regional peace, security and common development, he noted.

At the retreat, ASEAN and China discussed measures to strengthen their relations as well as preparations for the ASEAN-China Summit to be held in Cambodia next month.

The two sides affirmed to continue efforts in promoting the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity through specific, comprehensive and effective cooperation measures./.VNA