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Asean, Chinese officials convene 17th meeting on DOC implementation

Hanoi (Vietnam News/ANN) -- The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and China held the 17th senior officials’ meeting (SOM) on the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties on the South China Sea (DOC) in Hangzhou, China, on Friday and Saturday.
Beforehand, the Asean-China joint working group on the implementation of the DOC met on Thursday and Friday to look into the situation concerning the South China Sea, review the implementation of the DOC and continue negotiations on the Code of Conduct on the South China Sea (COC).

Senior officials from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and China gather for a photo at the 17th senior officials’ meeting on the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties on the South China Sea in Hangzhou, China.

Addressing the meeting, head of the Vietnamese delegation Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung acknowledged the progress made in the implementation of the COC and negotiations for the COC.
At the same time, he shared Vietnam’s concerns about complications in the South China Sea caused by strategic competition among powers and unilateral actions that ran counter to international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, particularly military actions, which have undermined trust, hindered the maintenance of peace and stability, and affected negotiations on the COC.
The Vietnamese delegate emphasised the South China Sea was also facing other challenges such as illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU fishing), pollution and plastic waste.
He called on countries to uphold their sense of responsibility and join hands to fully implement the DOC, refrain from militarisation or making moves that could further complicate the situation, and promote cooperation to handle challenges. The Deputy FM informed the meeting that Vietnam would organise a seminar within the framework of the DOC on the fair and humane treatment of fishermen.
Regarding the COC, Deputy FM Dũng urged Asean and China to achieve an effective code of conduct that was in line with international law, including the internationally recognised UNCLOS. He added that Vietnam would host the 18th Asean-China SOM on the implementation of the DOC in the latter half of 2019.
At the meeting, many countries noted that the complicated situation around the South China Sea had its roots based in recent developments in the waters, which increased tensions, undermined trust and posed risks to peace and stability.
The countries reiterated the importance of ensuring peace, stability, and security, and safety and freedom of navigation and overflight on the South China Sea. They committed themselves to the full and effective implementation of the DOC, especially self-restraint, and to cooperate on trust building.

Times Reporters
(Latest Update
May 21,

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