Asean, Chinese ministers agree to abide by int'l marine law
Foreign ministers from the 10 Asean member states and China have committed to the effective implementation of an agreement reached by their leaders, and working towards the adoption of international rules concerning the South China Sea.
The ministers made the commitment through a joint statement issued while in Vientiane this week for the 49th Asean Foreign Ministers' Meeting and related meetings.
“The ministers committed to the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in its entirety and working substantively towards the early adoption of a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea based on Consensus,” the joint statement read.
In the statement, they recognised that maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea region serves the fundamental interests of Asean member states and China (“the Parties”) as well as the international community.
The ministers reaffirmed that the DOC is a milestone document that embodies the collective commitment of the parties to promote peace, stability, mutual trust and confidence in the region, in accordance with the United Nations Charter and the universally recognised principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
They stressed the importance and role of the DOC in maintaining peace and stability in the region. The ministers commemorated the 15th Asean-China Summit, when leaders from Asean and China marked the 10th anniversary of the DOC adoption, stating that the parties reaffirmed their respect for the commitment to the freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea as provided for by the universally recognised principles of international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS.
The ministers' joint statement states that the parties concerned have undertaken to resolve their territorial and jurisdictional disputes by peaceful means, without resorting to the threat or use of force.
The ministers pointed to the DOC, which states that the parties undertake to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate disputes and affect peace and stability.
Through the DOC, the parties concerned reaffirmed the adoption of a code of conduct in the South China Sea that would further promote peace and stability in the region and agreed to work on the basis of consensus.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update July 27, 2016)