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China 'willing to work with Asean over South China Sea'

Publication Date : 11-08-2012

 

Maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea is the shared responsibility of all countries in the region, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said yesterday during a visit here.

China, he told reporters, is willing to work with Indonesia and other Asean countries to fully implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, which obliges all sides to resolve disputes peacefully.

He also pledged to build mutual trust and work towards the eventual adoption of a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.

Yang's remarks come less than a month after the Asean foreign ministers' meeting in Phnom Penh failed to reach agreement on a joint communique over mention of specific disputes in the South China Sea, which some said was due to Chinese influence on Cambodia, the Asean chair.

A week later, Asean members agreed on six principles to resolve disputes in those waters, after intense diplomacy by Indonesia.

But the situation has remained tense since then, as China established the city of Sansha on a disputed island and formed a military garrison there late last month.

Acknowledging "profound and complex changes" in the region, Yang said: "China will continue to support the building of an Asean community and support Asean in playing the leading role in East Asia cooperation."

 

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