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China, ASEAN nations discuss South China Sea issue: spokesman


19:50, June 06, 2013

BEIJING, June 6 (Xinhua) -- Representatives of China and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) recently met and discussed the South China Sea issue, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Thursday.

The eighth joint work group meeting on implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) took place in Bangkok on May 29, spokesman Hong Lei told a daily press briefing.

Hong's comments came after Acting US Assistant Secretary of State Joseph Yun on Wednesday said China and the ASEAN countries made progress during a meeting last week.

Hong did not specify details, but said the meeting was of great significance and recognized the positive progress made in implementing the DOC in 2012, including cooperation in disaster prevention and reduction and maritime ecology.

All parties agreed to fully and effectively implement the DOC and mapped out the work plan for 2013-2014, Hong said.

China, Thailand, Indonesia and Cambodia have raised nearly 10 cooperative proposals like setting up the China-ASEAN maritime emergency rescue hotline, Hong said.

The meeting also looked into how to promote the Code of Conduct of the South China Sea (COC) and enhance its understanding among countries, Hong said.

The meeting agreed to maintain dialogue and negotiations and decided to hold the ninth joint working group meeting in Beijing later this year, Hong added.

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