Home / World

Beijing: ASEAN ties won't be hurt by sea issue

By Pu Zhendong | China Daily | Updated: 2014-05-12 07:23

China opposes any particular country's taking advantage of the South China Sea issue to sabotage friendship and cooperation between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, a Foreign Ministry statement said on Saturday.

The remark came as foreign ministers and heads of state from 10 ASEAN members gathered in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, ahead of Sunday's ASEAN summit. The statement stressed "serious concerns over the ongoing developments" in the South China Sea.

In a declaration adopted on Sunday, leaders of the 10 states called for all parties to exercise self-restraint in the waters and to refrain from taking actions to escalate tension.

The diplomats had earlier called on all parties to "resolve disputes by peaceful means without resorting to threats or use of force".

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in the statement: "The issue of the South China Sea is not a problem between China and ASEAN."

"China would like to work with ASEAN countries to effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea," she said. The declaration was signed in 2002 as an effort to manage tensions in regional waters.

"China hopes that the ASEAN concerned members will sincerely respect and implement the declaration and make positive contributions to peace and stability as well as maritime security in the South China Sea," she said.

On Sunday, the ASEAN summit convened for the first time in Myanmar under the theme of "Moving Forward in Unity to a Peaceful and Prosperous Community", just days after both Vietnam and the Philippines became locked in intense standoffs with China.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III said he would raise Manila's territorial dispute with China in the meeting and call for support to resolve the conflict through international arbitration, AFP reported.

Myanmar President U Thein Sein said that "regional and global issues of great concern to ASEAN" would be extensively discussed, but he did not directly mention the escalating maritime crisis.

Chu Hao, a researcher of Southeast Asian studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said, "Hanoi and Manila have been deliberately stirring up tensions recently in an attempt to once again regionalize and internationalize the disputes by creating China-related topics at the ASEAN summit, but not every ASEAN country is willing to be 'kidnapped' by their agenda."

Su Hao, a professor of Asia-Pacific studies at China Foreign Affairs University, said it has become common practice that certain countries hype up talk of a "China threat" in multilateral frameworks.

"China's exploration in the South China Sea along with improved national strength has provided regional states an opportunity for joint development," Su said.

(China Daily 05/12/2014 page11)

Today's Top News

Editor's picks

Most Viewed

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349