Foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) discussed extensively the matters relating to the East Sea (South China Sea) and remained seriously concerned over recent and ongoing developments in the area.
Such is included in the joint statement of the 48th ASEAN Foreign Ministerial Meeting, which was released yesterday after days of discussion by the 10-member group.
|The 48th ASEAN Foreign Ministerial Meeting wrapped up on August 6, 2015__Photo: vietnamplus.vn
In their 28-page joint statement, the ministers took note of the serious concerns expressed by some Ministers on the land reclamations in the East Sea, which have eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions and may undermine peace, security and stability in the East Sea.
The ministers reaffirmed the importance of maintaining peace, security, stability, and freedom of navigation in and over-flight above the East Sea. They also emphasized the need for all parties to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), to exercise self-restraint, not to use force, and resolve all disputes through peaceful means in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
ASEAN diplomats looked forward to the effective implementation of the agreed Early Harvest Measures to enhance mutual trust and confidence as well as to build a conductive environment for the maintenance of peace, security and stability in the region. They assigned their senior officials to continue working on the matter and propose other initiatives for the objectives.
The ministers agreed preventive measures should be undertaken to address developments in the East Sea, with the objective, among others, to enhance trust and confidence among parties. They took note of Indonesia’s proposal to establish a high-level hotline of communications between ASEAN and China to address emergency situations on the ground that need immediate intervention.- (VLLF)