Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung led a Vietnamese delegation to the consultation, an annual event at the deputy foreign ministerial level within the framework of ASEAN-China dialogue relations.

Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung, head of the Vietnamese delegation at the 24th ASEAN-China Senior Officials' Consultation in Singapore on June 8. (Photo: VNA)

China affirmed that it attaches importance to cooperation with ASEAN, stressing its support for the group’s central role in the regional architecture. The country wants ASEAN to develop dynamically and pledges to continue assisting the bloc in building its community, boost connectivity, and narrow development gap.

Meanwhile, ASEAN officials emphasized the importance of the ASEAN-China strategic partnership to regional peace, stability and prosperity. They said their countries welcome activities marking the 15th founding anniversary of this strategic partnership, including a commemorative summit in late 2018.

The two sides said they will further consolidate and develop the strategic partnership on the basis of mutual benefits and enhance mutual understanding and mutual trust. They agreed to gather resources to effectively implement the ASEAN-China Plan of Action 2016-2020, soon complete the ratification of the protocol on upgrading the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement and facilitate trade and investment so as to boost bilateral trade to USD 1 trillion and investment to USD 150 billion by 2020.

Regarding the East Sea issue, the participating countries underlined the significance of peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the waters. ASEAN called on relevant parties to exercise restraint, not to further complicate the situation or increase tension, and resolve disputes by peaceful measures on the basis of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS).  The countries agreed on the need to fully implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties (DOC) in the East Sea and soon achieve a meaningful and effective Code of Conduct (COC) in the waters.

Concerning the East Sea situation, Deputy FM Nguyen Quoc Dung also voiced concerns over the recent happenings in the waters. He underscored the importance of exercising restraint, avoiding actions to complicate the situation, promoting dialogue and cooperation, and peacefully settling disputes on the basis on international law and the 1982 UNCLOS. He also called for full implementation of the DOC and creation of a favorable environment for the COC negotiation.

Translated by Chung Anh