Web Editor: luodan
officials of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and
China jointly held a workshop on the 10th anniversary of the
Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in
Phnom Penh on Thursday.
"The workshop is the opportunity for
both sides, ASEAN and China, to really reflect on how to keep the DOC
alive in dealing with the current situation in the South China Sea,"
Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong said
at the opening address.
He recalled that both ASEAN and China
had signed this important milestone document in Phnom Penh in 2002,
when Cambodia chaired ASEAN for the very first time, in order to
transform the South China Sea into a "permanent" sea of peace,
stability, friendship and cooperation for mutual benefits and
"ASEAN and China agreed to sign the DOC at the
level of foreign ministers meant that ASEAN and China were farsighted
and, at the same time, fully committed to settle any disputes
peacefully in the South China Sea," he said. "Cambodia is pleased to
note that all parties concerned have expressed their strong and full
commitment to respect and implement the DOC."
He added that
nine years after signing the DOC, the foreign ministers of ASEAN and
China finally reached an agreement on the DOC Guidelines at their
meeting in Bali, Indonesia, in July 2011, in order to pave the way for
effective implementation of the DOC.
"With the DOC Guidelines
in place, ASEAN and China have been implementing a number of
DOC-related activities to promote trust and enhance confidence between
the two sides," he said.
He added that the two sides should
implement the DOC in full by identifying concrete activities for mutual
interests and engaging in discussions on a step-by-step basis for the
eventual adoption of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC).
Namhong also spoke highly of the good cooperation between ASEAN and
China, saying that ASEAN and China are strategic partners, working
closely together in many sectors of cooperation at all levels through
ASEAN and China have made tremendous
progress in all areas, such as politics and security, trade and
economic cooperation, and social and cultural development, he said.
the workshop, Fu Ying, Chinese vice foreign minister, said that the
two-day workshop was a rare opportunity to further enhance mutual
trust, promote cooperation, jointly safeguard peace and stability in
the South China Sea.
China is committed to the full and
effective implementation of the DOC, she said, adding, "We are firm in
our resolve and sincere in our attitude. We are ready to work with
ASEAN countries to make unremitting efforts to implement the DOC."
by all parties is the key. The DOC is signed by China and all ten ASEAN
countries and is equally binding to all parties," she said. "It is a
common responsibility and obligation for China and ASEAN countries to
follow and implement the DOC effectively."
Fu also spoke of
the importance of the DOC, saying that it establishes fundamental
principles for addressing disputes in the South China Sea and it makes
clear that disputes in the South China Sea should be resolved "by
peaceful means, through friendly consultations and negotiations by
sovereign states directly concerned".
The DOC also helps to
cement political trust between China and ASEAN, and has been a source
of strong momentum for China and ASEAN to establish and continuously
develop the strategic partnership, she added.
She suggested that China and ASEAN should work toward the eventual adoption of a COC in a gradual way.
effort toward the ultimate formulation of a COC on the basis of
consensus through consultation is an important agreement reached by
China and ASEAN in the DOC," she said. "We want to see that all parties
strictly abide by the spirits and principles of the DOC and avoid the
tension of the situation on the sea."
ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.