ASEAN to discuss East Sea issues with China

(VOVworld) - ASEAN will negotiate with China on East Sea issues as a united bloc, ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh told reporters on Thursday on the sidelines of the 22nd ASEAN Summit.

ASEAN to discuss East Sea issues with China - ảnh 1
Leaders of ASEAN members join hands. (Photo:Vincent Thian/AP)

Minh said that East Sea issues should be settled by related parties with the consideration of mutual interest and regional peace and stability, adding that ASEAN is ready to engage with China on this issue. Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Vinh said: "ASEAN has prepared to discuss with China the Code of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (COC) since late 2011. The bloc has stepped up consultations with China on the COC including informal talks held at its Senior Officials' Meeting in 2012. The COC was mentioned in Article 10 of the DOC and ASEAN thinks that in the current situation it should be accelerated".

ASEAN’s Chairman, Brunei Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, expressed optimism based on the progress made by the 10 ASEAN members in preparation for talks with China. ASEAN’s Foreign Ministers will hold a meeting prior to the talks with China, which is scheduled for later this year.

Earlier, in the Chairman’s Statement, ASEAN leaders reiterated the importance of peace, stability and maritime security in the East Sea and joint commitments within the framework of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) to ensure peaceful dispute settlement under international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.