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ASEAN, Chinese FMs to meet over S China Sea disputes

Xinhua

JAKARTA - Secretary-General of Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Le Luong Minh said on Monday that foreign ministers of ASEAN member countries will have a meeting with their Chinese counterpart in Beijing to further discuss peaceful settlement on territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

"The meeting between ASEAN foreign affairs ministers and Chinese foreign affairs minister has been scheduled in August or September this year in Beijing," Minh told Xinhua on the sidelines of a media briefing on the results of the recent high-profile ASEAN Summit held in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei.

He said that during the summit, all ASEAN members agreed to assign their foreign ministries to continue to work actively with China on the way forward for early conclusion of a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) on the basis of consensus.  

In his briefing, Minh said that ASEAN leaders reaffirmed the importance of peace, stability and maritime security in the region. They also underscored the importance of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), ASEAN's six-point Principles on the South China Sea and the Joint Statement of the 10th anniversary of the DOC.

"In this regard, we reaffirmed the collective commitments under the DOC to ensuring the peaceful resolution of dispute in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea without resorting to the threat or use of force, while exercising self-restraint in the conduct of activities," Minh said in the briefing.

He added that ASEAN is looking forward to continued engagement with China in implementing the DOC in a full and effective manner, including through mutually agreed joint cooperative activities and projects.