ASEAN, China urge trust building measures in DOC implementation
Updated : Thursday, June 28, 2018 2:59 PM (GMT+0700)

Seniorofficials of ASEAN and China held the 15th meeting on theimplementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea(DOC) in Hunan province, China, on June 27.

Heads of the delegations at the 15th ASEAN-China Senior Officials' Meeting on the
Implementation of the DOC in Hunan province, China, on June 27 - Photo: VNA

Chinese Deputy ForeignMinister Kong Xuanyou and Secretary of the Singaporean Foreign Ministry CheeWee Kiong co-chaired the meeting (SOM-DOC 15).

Earlier, the 24thmeeting of the ASEAN-China Joint Working Group on the Implementation of the DOC(JWG-DOC 24) took place on June 25 and 26.

These meetings aimed toreview the DOC implementation and the negotiation on a Code of Conduct ofParties in the East Sea (COC) and specify the next activities on these issues.

The JWG-DOC 24 discusseddetails of the COC and clarified the principles and the next activities of theJWG-DOC. They agreed that the JWG-DOC will regularly report the progress andoutcomes to the SOM-DOC and the ASEAN-China Post Ministerial Conference (PMC).

Meanwhile, the SOM-DOC 15looked into the realisation of the DOC and affirmed the importance of fullcompliance with this document to maintain dialogue and cooperation for peaceand stability in the East Sea.

They underscored the need topromote trust building measures in the DOC implementation, both in the fieldand in cooperation activities, thus creating a favourable environment for theCOC negotiation.

At the meeting, officialsalso detailed the DOC implementation plan for 2016-2018.

Regarding the content of theCOC, the SOM-DOC 15 applauded the negotiations at the JWG-DOC 24 and theprevious meeting in Nha Trang city of Vietnam in March 2018. Participants alsodiscussed the COC and methods for negotiating this document and talked aboutthe next steps and content to be reported to the ASEAN-China PMC in Singaporenext August.

Addressing the SOM-DOC 15,head of the Vietnamese delegation - Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung,reiterated the importance of the DOC’s implementation to maintaining peace,stability and security in the region. He welcomed some outcomes of the DOC’simplementation.

However, he voiced concernabout island reclamation and the military equipment installation and testing ondisputed structures in the East Sea, noting these activities run counter to theDOC’s principles and adversely affect COC negotiations.

Dung called on relevantparties to exercise self-restraint, refrain from actions that can complicatethe situation, thus creating a favourable environment for the COC negotiations.

In terms of building theCOC, the Deputy Minister renewed Vietnam’s viewpoints on this document. He saidthe COC needs to be enforceable and legally binding while serving as a toolregulating relevant parties’ behaviours in the East Sea. It must also be inaccordance with international law, particularly the 1982 United NationsConvention on the Law of the Sea.

ASEAN and China agreed tohold the next JWG-DOC meeting in Siem Reap, Cambodia, in early September thisyear.


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