29 April 2016
Pending a binding agreement on how China and Asean should manage territorial disputes in the South China Sea, Beijing has proposed a joint statement pledging to adhere to the principles of an earlier pact, including to refrain from escalating tensions in the area.
The statement will reflect elements in a 2002 Declaration of Conduct (DOC), a pact signed by China and Asean members stating that all parties should resolve their disputes peacefully and avoid doing anything that would complicate or escalate these disputes.
Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin yesterday said it was “necessary” for members of the 10-nation grouping to reaffirm their commitment to the DOC, which has not been fully implemented.
… However, former Asean secretary-general Ong Keng Yong questioned the need for the statement. “Why is there a need for another statement when there already is the DOC that Asean members have agreed upon, reiterated and reaffirmed over the past 14 years?”
Mr Ong, executive deputy chairman of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, told The Straits Times: “Asean members will have to re-examine the wording, tone and thrust of the joint statement to determine if it is the same as that in the DOC.”
RSIS / Online / Print
Last updated on 29/04/2016