During a meeting with Australian Ambassador to Cambodia Pablo Kang on October 1, he also expressed his hope that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China would reach an agreement on the Code of Conduct (COC) to prevent the disputes from escalating, the Phnom Penh Post reported.

At the meeting between Cambodia’s Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong and Australian Ambassador to Cambodia Pablo Kang on October 1. (Photo: vov.vn)

The Deputy PM said the East Sea should be the "sea of peace and security," with freedom of navigation and overflight guaranteed.

“I hope that ASEAN and China will continue to negotiate to achieve a Code of Conduct in the near future. So far, the negotiation is nearly finished,” the Phnom Penh Post cited Namhong as saying.

He noted that as the Chair of ASEAN for the third time in 2022, Cambodia will prioritize strengthening ASEAN unity and ensuring peace and security in the region.

According to the Deputy PM, at the upcoming 2022 ASEAN summit, the regional bloc will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).

"Now, 20 years have passed and all relevant parties are still demanding full respect for this DOC,” he said.

Source: VNA