The first meeting of the 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM 50) in Manila, the Philippines (Source: EPA/VNA)
Manila (VNA) – Foreign
Minister Pham Binh Minh has appealed to the Association of Southeast Asian
Nations (ASEAN) to intensify exchanges with China to soon start pragmatic
negotiations of the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), making it effective
and legally binding.

He was addressing the ongoing 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
(AMM 50) in Manila, the Philippines on August 5.
The ASEAN foreign ministers on
August 5 reached a consensus on a draft framework for a code of conduct (COC)
of parties in the East Sea. The draft is expected to be submitted to the
ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting for approval on August 6.

Minh applauded ASEAN and China for their
full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East
Sea (DOC).

He also reiterated Vietnam’s consistent stance on the significance of peace,
stability, navigation and aviation security and safety in the East Sea to
regional peace and stability.
Disputes should be resolved peacefully
in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the
Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and respect for legal and diplomatic processes, he
said, stressing the need for concerned parties to back efforts to build trust
and prevent conflicts.

He noted that developing a suitable and
satisfactory approach to the East Sea issue constitutes ASEAN’s practical
contribution to long-term peace and stability in the region and also proves its
competence, efficiency and central role in regional and international

Vietnam’s viewpoints were echoed by
other countries, which emphasised the importance of solidarity and unity,
ASEAN’s centrality in the present context, and especially basic principles of
international law, including the UNCLOS.

They held that it is necessary to
effectively and pragmatically contribute to maintaining peace and stability by
exercising restraint, building trust, and especially avoiding actions that can
harm regional peace and stability such as reclamation and militarisation of
entities at sea.

The participating FMs expressed their
concerns over challenges to regional security, both traditional and
non-traditional, including the increase of terrorism and piracy, the situation
in the Korean Peninsula and the East Sea.

Given the regional and global backdrop,
they pledged to intensify efforts for dialogue and cooperation, step up the
building and sharing of codes of conduct in relations between countries in the
region, and raise ASEAN’s self-reliance in dealing with such challenges.

Talking about non-traditional security
challenges, Minh pointed out adverse impacts of terrorism and piracy on
security and social order in the region.

Vietnam will work together with other
ASEAN members to strengthen comprehensive cooperation within regional
mechanisms and frameworks in order to cope with the problems, he stated.

in 1967, ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the
Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.-VNA