Maintaining peace and stability in the East Sea (internationally known as the South China Sea) is of primary concern for ASEAN and its partners at recent summits in Hanoi, according to a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam.
During the recent 37th ASEAN Summit and the 15th East Asia Summit (EAS) hosted by Vietnam, leaders of many countries raised concern about the situation in the East Sea and emphasized the need to maintain a durable, long-term peace and stability in the regional waters, spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang told reporters at a press briefing in Hanoi on November 19.
To achieve the goal, she said it is necessary to promote a sense of responsibility and especially to avoid actions, including militarization, that could fuel tensions and complicate the situation.
The participating countries held that it is imperative to uphold international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982), in peacefully settling sea-related disputes.
They called on ASEAN and China to fully implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and to soon resume negotiations on a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in accordance with international law, including the UNCLOS 1982.
All the relevant matters were fully reflected in the Chairman’s Statement of the 37th ASEAN Summit and the 15th EAS Summit, Hang stressed.