Efforts need to safeguard peace in S China Sea

Updated: 2011-07-23 15:53


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BALI, Indonesia - It's undoubtedly a big news that China and ASEAN countries have agreed on the guidelines of implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), as it demonstrates the concerned parties' confidence and political determination to peacefully resolve the disputes in the area.

With this agreement, it is expected peace and stability can be maintained in the South China Sea through concerted efforts.

Peace and development are the theme of the world. The related parties in the disputes are developing countries and also neighbors. Seeking development and enhancing cooperation are their common wishes.

Facts have proved that the cooperation between China and ASEAN countries have made fruitful achievement in various areas and greatly boosted their economic growth in the past 20 years since the two sides established dialogue partnership.

On the contrary, disagreement and confrontation will aggravate disputes and undermine the bilateral economic and trade links as well as people-to-people exchanges.

Under this background, all the parties have realized that enhancing pragmatic cooperation helps maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea, which also serves the common interests of the parties concerned.

Cooperation should be built on understanding and mutual trust. In recent years, China and ASEAN countries have held consultations for the guidelines of the implementation of the DOC. During the consultations, the understanding and mutual trust have been strengthened between the two sides and more consensus have also been reached.

The Chinese side has made a number of proposals for further cooperation, including the convening of a symposium on free navigation in the South China Sea, and the establishment of three special committees on marine scientific research and environmental protection, navigation safety and search and rescue operations, and combating transnational crimes on the sea, which have received positive response from ASEAN countries.

ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan said all the member states of the regional bloc expect the disputes can be settled in a peaceful and constructive manner through enhancing friendship and good neighborly relations.

The disputes in the South China Sea will be ultimately settled through bilateral talks and negotiations, he said. The agreement on the guidelines of implementing the DOC proves that the concerned parties have the ability and wisdom to address their disputes through peaceful discussion.

Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem said Vietnam hopes to deal with the maritime problems properly with China and realize consensus as soon as possible.The other countries also encourage the concerned parties to carry out bilateral negotiations through traditional diplomatic approaches.

Marty Natalegawa, foreign minister of Indonesia, ASEAN's rotating chair, said both ASEAN and China have the responsibility and opportunity to contribute greatly to the peace, stability and prosperity of the region.

The international community also hopes all the parties concerned can offer as much wisdom and accommodation as possible to promote pragmatic cooperation and turn the South China Sea into a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation.