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Friday, September 26, 2014, 15:53 (GMT+7)
The East Sea Issue in Joint Communiqué released by the 47th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM 47)

The 47th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM 47) held in Nay Pyi Taw (Myanmar) issued a Joint Communiqué on August 10th, 2014. The East Sea issue was mentioned in 7 items of ‘Regional and International Issues’. Meanwhile, the other issues such as: Korean Peninsula, Ukraine, the Downing of the Malaysia Airlines MH-17…etc were in only 1 item for each. The following is about the East Sea in the Joint Communiqué.

Overview of the AMM-47 in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar (Photo: VNA)

“149. We remained seriously concerned over recent developments which had increased tensions in the East Sea and reaffirmed the importance of maintaining peace, stability, maritime security as well as freedom of navigation in and over-flight above the East Sea.

150. We reaffirmed our commitments to the principles stipulated in the 2012 Statement of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers on ASEAN's Six Point Principles on the East Sea, the 2012 Joint Statement of the 15th ASEAN-China Summit on the 10th Anniversary of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, and the ASEAN Foreign Minister’s Statement on the Current Developments in the East Sea which was issued on 10 May 2014.

151. We urged all parties concerned to exercise self-restraint and avoid actions which would complicate the situation and undermine peace, stability, and security in the East Sea and to settle disputes through peaceful means, without resorting to the threat or use of force, including friendly dialogue, consultations and negotiations, in accordance with universally recognised principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

152. We further stressed the importance of the collective commitments of ASEAN Member States and China to peace, stability, maritime security and mutual trust in the region and the need to create conditions conducive for the peaceful settlement of disputes. We agreed to intensify consultations with China on measures and mechanisms to ensure and further enhance the full and effective implementation of the DOC in its entirety, particularly Articles 4 and 5 as well as substantive negotiations for the early conclusion of the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC). We tasked our Senior Officials to follow up on this matter.

153. We took note of the Progress Report on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea to be submitted to the ASEAN-China Post-Ministerial Conference, and tasked officials to work with China to finalise the objective and structure and elaborate the substance of the COC, including concrete elements which would promote trust and confidence, prevent incidents, manage incidents should they occur. We also tasked officials to work on a series of early-harvest measures.

154. We underscored the importance of maintaining the momentum of consultations and expeditiously working towards the early conclusion of the COC following the constructive outcomes of the 7th ASEAN-China Senior Officials Meeting on the Implementation of the DOC (SOM on DOC) held on 21 April 2014 in Pattaya, Thailand and the 10 th and 11 th ASEAN-China Joint Working Groups on the Implementation of the DOC (JWG on DOC) held on 18 March 2014 in Singapore and 25 June 2014 in Bali, Indonesia, respectively. In this regard, we looked forward to more substantive discussions at the 8th SOM on DOC to be convened back-to-back with the 12th JWG on DOC in October 2014 in Bangkok , Thailand . 

155. We noted the paper on the Triple Action Plan introduced by the Philippines and other proposals on Article 5 of the DOC raised by other ASEAN Foreign Ministers on the East Sea’’.

Like the Statement released on May 5th, 2014, the Joint Communiqué by the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on August 10th, 2014 once again expresses ASEAN’s unity and concern over the East Sea issues, and the importance of peaceful environment maintenance in the East Sea to global and regional security.

By Van Doanh 

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