ASEAN, China agree to go ahead with negotiations on Code of Conduct in East Sea

ASEAN and China have reaffirmed their commitments to fully and seriously implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and soon resuming negotiations on the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
July 02, 2020 | 16:34
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asean china agree to go ahead with negotiations on code of conduct in east sea
Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung stresses the need to promote dialogue, cooperation, trust building and mutual acceptance of standards in addressing disputes and differences in Southeast Asia. Source: VOV

They also agreed to promote dialogue, cooperation and trust building in order to ensure peace and stability in the region, including contentious issues in the East Sea (internationally known as South China Sea).

The agreement was reached during the 26th ASEAN-China Senior Officials' Consultation (ACSOC) held in the form of video conference on July 1.

Attending the event in the capacity of ASEAN Chair, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung noted ASEAN will continue working closely with China to fully and effectively implement DOC and build COC in line with international laws, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Amid complex developments in the region, he called on both ASEAN and China to strengthen their partnership in capacity building to actively respond to non-conventional security challenges.

Both ASEAN and China need to uphold the principle of mutual trust and respect, comply with international laws, practice self-restraint and peacefully settle disputes and differences, said Dung.

asean china agree to go ahead with negotiations on code of conduct in east sea
ASEAN and China agree to soon resume COC negotiations to address East Sea issues

At the meeting, ASEAN maintained China is one of the bloc’s leading partners and largest trading partner, playing an important role in maintaining peace, stability and cooperation in the region.

They welcomed China's COVID-19 containment efforts and appreciated its active support for ASEAN initiatives on the COVID-19 response fund and regional emergency medical supplies reserve.

The two sides agreed to work closely together toward the dual goal of disease prevention and economic recovery in the ‘new normal’ context. They will continue completing the development of the ASEAN-China Plan of Action for the 2021 – 2025 period to outline priorities for cooperation in the new circumstance.

They also demonstrated strong determination to sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) this year and effectively execute the Protocol to Amend the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA), thus showing strong commitment to free and open multilateral trade./.

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