China, ASEAN reaffirm to solve disputes via negotiation

Senior officials from China and ASEAN have reaffirmed plans to solve disputes on the South China Sea through negotiations and by using a regional framework of regulations.

The statement came as senior officials held a meeting in Manzhouli, a land port city in northern China, on Monday and Tuesday, which focused on implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the South China Sea (DOC).

The meeting was held after the China-ASEAN foreign ministers' meeting in late July and before the upcoming China-ASEAN leaders' meeting in September.

Both sides agreed to continue to implement the DOC and reaffirmed plans: to solve disputes via negotiation, manage differences with a regional framework of regulations, deepen maritime cooperation, and move forward negotiation on the code of conduct in the South China Sea (COC) to safeguard peace and stability of the region.

The meeting agreed on the importance of the China-ASEAN senior diplomats' hotline to address maritime emergencies and a joint statement on the application of rules about accidental encounters between China and the ASEAN in the South China Sea.

The two documents will be issued as part of the China-ASEAN leaders' meeting in Laos in September.

Both sides also exchanged views on how to strengthen maritime cooperation and the negotiation on the COC.

Source: Xinhua