Foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) would call for “determined actions” to reduce the mounting tensions in the East Sea, ASEAN diplomats said on August 7 at the 47th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting held in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.
Specifically, they said, the Philippines stressed the need to “cease destabilizing actions in the East Sea pending the peaceful, rules-based settlement of disputes.”
The diplomats also said ASEAN would press China to start negotiations to draft a legally binding code of conduct needed to maintain peace, stability and maritime security in the East Sea.
ASEAN stressed the need for its 10 member states and China to have “collective commitments” for the full and effective implementation of the political declaration signed by ASEAN and China in 2002, and the early conclusion of a code of conduct in the East Sea.
“We need to expeditiously conclude a substantive and legally binding code of conduct,” said Philippine Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Evan Garcia.
He emphasized that the provocative and unilateral actions of China had violated the 2002 political declaration, raised the level of tensions and undermined the spirit of good neighborly ties and mutual confidence necessary for the region to move forward to implement the DOC fully and effectively.-