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People's Daily Online>>Foreign Affairs

Officials to discuss S. China Sea issues

(China Daily)

08:13, January 13, 2012

BEIJING - The Fourth Senior Officials Meeting of China and 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) will be held in Beijing from Friday to Sunday.

"Senior officials will review the progress of its implementation, and focus on the promotion of pragmatic cooperation under the framework of the DOC," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said on Thursday at a regular news briefing.

Progress was made last year in the implementation of the DOC, Liu said, adding that China and ASEAN countries agreed in July on the guidelines for the implementation of the DOC, paving the way for its further implementation.

This year is the 10th anniversary of the signing of the DOC by China and ASEAN members in November 2002 as a code of conduct for all parties involved in diplomatic issues in the South China Sea.

China successfully held a series of seminars on South China Sea oceanography and navigational freedom and security in December.

"China will seize this opportunity of making joint efforts with ASEAN countries to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea and bring benefits to the people in the region," Liu said, adding that China has established a 3-billion-yuan ($475 million) China-ASEAN maritime cooperation fund to help implement the declaration.

Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario recently called for resolving disputes in the South China Sea through peaceful means and seeking a final resolution according to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

In response, Liu said China and the Philippines would exchange views on the South China Sea issue on Saturday at their 17th bilateral diplomatic negotiations.

"They will exchange views on bilateral ties, the enhancement of pragmatic cooperation and other issues of common concern."

The two sides will also exchange views on how to properly cope with disputes and make joint efforts to safeguard the peace and stability of the region, he added.

China is committed to neighborly and friendly cooperation with the Philippines, and it is the consensus between the two countries that they should properly handle the dispute and secure the stable development of bilateral ties, he said.


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