East Sea issues and goodwill from ASEAN, China and other countries

15/09/2020    11:34 GMT+7 vietnamnet

Regarding the East Sea issue, all countries attending the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) shared the spirit of making a contribution to dialogue and cooperation, said Director of the Foreign Ministry’s ASEAN Affairs Department Vu Ho.

Thiện chí của ASEAN, Trung Quốc và các nước khi bàn về Biển Đông
Director General of the ASEAN Affairs Department Vu Ho. Photo: Pham Hai

The 27th ARF took place on September 12 with the participation of foreign ministers of 27 countries. The meeting discussed many regional and international issues. Mr. Vu Ho talked with VietNamNet on the sidelines of the conference.

According to Vu Ho, the 27th ARF took place successfully. Although it was held online, ministers of participating countries all had the opportunity to present issues of concern and desire for the development of the ARF, one of ASEAN’s central forums and mechanisms for regional peace and stability building.

The Ministers were also determined to work together to promote cooperation on Covid-19 prevention and control on a wider scale, in the Asia-Pacific, not limited to a specific region.

The meeting clearly demonstrated the determination of those countries to continue dialogue, promote cooperation, and plan the move of the ARF in the spirit of building trust and implementing “preventive diplomacy” in the context of relations between nations and concerns have developed complex. “The success of this meeting is the issuance of eight statements of ministers. We can confirm that the 27th ARF has become a success,” Ho said.

Regarding the East Sea situation, Ho said that this is one of the issues discussed at not only the ARF forum but other ASEAN meetings.

Ministers said that many serious incidents had occurred in the East Sea, affecting regional peace and stability. Once again, they urged all parties to exercise restraint and settle disputes by peaceful means, based on international law, in particular the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982).

They also welcomed ASEAN and China’s commitment to the full implementation of the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), working together towards the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

“The formulation of the COC is a common product between ASEAN and China. Whether or not this Code of Conduct is an integral part of international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS,” he said.

ASEAN countries and China have committed to build an effective Code of Conduct, a tool for all parties to perform dialogue and cooperation in accordance with the spirit of confidence-building, preventive diplomacy that countries are striving for.

Within only two hours, the ministers discussed serious issues in the East Sea. “There are actions that make the situation more complicated, affecting mutual trust. There are actions that need restraint at the highest level. All are to ensure a favorable environment, building common rules and a peace and stability-based regional structure,” Mr. Vu Ho added.

“All countries attended the conference with a spirit of contribution to dialogue and a spirit of cooperation,” he said.

During the 27th ARF Forum, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh emphasized the common interests and responsibilities of all countries in maintaining and promoting peace, stability, security, and safety, freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea.

He shared deep concern about complicated developments and cases, acts violating the legitimate rights and interests of coastal countries and reiterated ASEAN’s stance on the East Sea, which was stated in the joint statement of the 53rd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.

He also emphasized the requirement to abide by the law, self-restraint, not take actions to complicate the situation, not militarize, and resolve disputes through peaceful measures on the basis of international law and the UNCLOS 1982.

Thanh Nam

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