VIENTIANE, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) — It is not appropriate for some countries outside the region to push the so-called South China Sea “arbitration” at the East Asia Summit, which runs against the trend of solving disputes through dialogues and consultations, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said on Thursday.
All leaders of ASEAN countries speaking at the summit supported the efforts that have been made by China and ASEAN countries to implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), Liu told a press briefing after the summit.
Only two countries outside the region proposed to push the “arbitration”, Liu said, adding that instead of solving problems, such a meddling act can only expand differences and contradictions, to which China is firmly opposed.
China and ASEAN countries have made positive efforts in implementing DOC and the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC), he said, noting that before the ASEAN foreign ministers’ meeting in July 2017, the two sides will complete drafting a COC framework so as to let consultations enter a substantive discussion phase.
“Some countries outside the region intend to meddle after seeing regional nations make progress on strengthening cooperation,” Liu said, adding that ASEAN nations have realized that the issues in the region should be solved through dialogues and consultations among the countries in the region.
ASEAN countries have learned that the key to solving the South China Sea issue should be held in their own hands and they should return to the channel of a complete and effective implementation of the DOC, and only strengthening cooperation and building mutual trust can safeguard East Asia’s peace and security and maintain its economic prosperity, he said.
“The page about arbitration has been turned over,” he said, adding that China hopes countries concerned should not sow discord again between China and ASEAN.
“It is the Cold War mentality to count on bilateral defense cooperation and military alliance to safeguard East Asian peace,” Liu said, stressing the need to formulate a new Asian security concept.
Meanwhile, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has sent a signal of improving bilateral relations with China after he took office, and China is confident that Sino-Philippine ties could be improved with the joint efforts of the two sides.
The East Asia Summit, a forum of leaders from 10 ASEAN members, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, India and the United States, reviews and discusses future direction of cooperation as well as exchanges views on regional and international issues.
Tags: arbitration, ASEAN, Australia, Brunei, China, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin, Duterte insulted U.S. President Barack Obama, human rights, India, international law, Japan, Laos summit, Li Keqiang, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Russia, Scarborough Shoal, Sino-Philippine ties, South China Sea, South Korea, Taiwan, U.S., Vietnam, West Philippine Sea