China, ASEAN to beef up maritime co-op

Updated: 2013-09-15 21:04


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NANJING - China has proposed a maritime emergency help line among China and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries during meetings from Saturday and Sunday in Suzhou, a city in east China's Jiangsu province, according to a Foreign Ministry press release.

The meetings were the 6th China-ASEAN Senior Officials' Meeting and the 9th Joint Working Group Meeting on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC).

China also proposed a joint maritime search and rescue sandbox, according to the press release.

Thailand, Indonesia and some other countries also raised proposals on maritime cooperation, the press release said.H   All sides had in-depth exchanges of views on full and effective implementation of the DOC and strengthening maritime pragmatic cooperation in a friendly and candid atmosphere, the press release said.

China and the ASEAN countries finished drafting the DOC in 2002, outlining the most important principles in the management of disputes on the South China Sea.

As the first political document signed by China and ASEAN countries on the South China Sea, the DOC is of great significance for safeguarding peace and stability in the area, participants in the meetings agreed.

They agreed that full and effective implementation of the DOC is in line with all sides' interests and is conducive to the China-ASEAN strategic partnership.

A working plan for implementing the DOC from 2013 to 2014 was approved at the meetings.

There were consultations on a more detailed Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) under the framework of the DOC, and agreement to continue to push forward COC development and authorize the Joint Working Group to hold concrete consultations.

They also agreed to take steps to gather a celebrity expert group for the COC development.

The Senior Officials' Meeting was co-chaired by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin and Sihasak Phuangketkeow, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand.