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ASEAN leaders stress peace in South China Sea

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-04-25 17:32

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN - Southeast Asian leaders on Thursday reaffirmed the importance of peace, stability and maritime security in the South China Sea and the collective commitments under the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC).

"We reaffirmed the collective commitments under the DOC to ensuring the peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, without resorting to the threat or use of force, while exercising self- restraint in the conduct of activities," said an official statement.

The leaders also looked forward to continued engagement with China in implementing the DOC in a "full and effective manner", including through mutually agreed joint cooperative activities and projects, said the Chairman's Statement of the 22nd summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), held in Bandar Seri Begawan on April 24-25.

The ASEAN leaders have tasked their ministers "to continue to work actively with China on the way forward for the early conclusion of a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea on the basis of consensus", the statement added.

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