China in China Sea progress

by Duangkamol Buranasomphop


            The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and China have agreed to accelerate the implementation of elements of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) to build trust and confidence.  Thailand hosted the 7th Asean-China Senior Officials meeting on the DOC and the 20th Asean-China Senior Officials’ Consultation in Pattaya, Chonburi, which ended Tuesday.

            Sihasak Phuangketkeow, permanent secretary for Foreign Affairs and Liu Zhenmin, Vice Foreign Minister of China, co-chaired the two-day meeting. The meetings discussed efforts in moving forward Asean-China dialogue, and maintaining regional peace and stability to ensure growth and prosperity. Speaking to the media yesterday, Mr Sihasak said the two sides agreed to initiate joint exercises on search and rescue, disaster relief and setting up a communication hotline.

            In addition, the meeting exchanged views on the objectives of the code of conduct (COC) in the South China Sea and assigned the 10th Joint Working Group on the DOC held in Singapore last month to flesh out some of the measures to achieve these objectives and expand their work to develop commonalities.

            Mr Sihasak said in his opening statement on Monday the clear objectives of the COC should be to promote mutual confidence and trust, avoid incidents at sea and manage incidents effectively should they occur.

            At the Pattaya meeting, the senior officials reaffirmed the importance of Asean-China relations as a pillar of regional peace and stability and committed themselves to achieving a better, closer and resilient Asean-China strategic partnership through building trust, confidence and mutual respect. Asean took note of China’s desire to further strengthen the partnership between the two sides through initiatives that include exploring a possible treaty of good neighbourliness, friendship and cooperation.

            It also includes convening an informal Asean-China defence ministers meeting, and further expanding cooperation in disaster management.


Duangkamol Buranasomphop

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