Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here on Monday that peace and stability in the South China Sea are important prerequisites for regional development.
Wang made the remarks when addressing the opening ceremony of a seminar commemorating the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) by video.
The DOC is the first political document signed by China and ASEAN countries on the South China Sea issue. It establishes the basic principles and common norms for all parties to handle the South China Sea issue, Wang noted.
Stressing that regional countries are the real parties that are responsible for properly handling the South China Sea issue, Wang called on all parties to continue to keep the bottom line of peace in the area.
All sides should firmly support all efforts that are conducive to peaceful settlement and management of disputes, oppose any words and deeds that create tension and provoke confrontation in the region, Wang said.
Wang also called for improving bilateral and multilateral maritime-related dialogue mechanisms, establishing and advancing the cooperation mechanism between coastal countries, actively promoting practical cooperation in scientific research, environmental protection, search and rescue and other fields, and the discussion of the joint development of resources.
Calling for stronger institutional guarantees for managing differences and promoting cooperation, Wang said China will continue to uphold the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness in its neighborhood diplomacy, and work with ASEAN countries to be a defender of maritime peace, a builder of maritime order, a promoter of maritime cooperation, and a contributor to maritime development.