He made the remark in an interview given to the press following the meetings in Bangkok, Thailand, from July 29 to August 3.

He said the East Sea issue is always on the agenda of ASEAN meetings. This time, it attracted more attention from countries due to the recent developments in the waters, especially the Chinese survey ship Haiyang Dizhi 8 and its escorts’ activities in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf that have violated Vietnam’s sovereignty and sovereign rights.

Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung

Many ministers voiced deep concerns over the recent developments, the deputy minister said, noting that all countries underlined the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation in and overflight over the East Sea.

They demanded compliance with international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and called on relevant parties to exercise self-restraint and seriously implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea. They also voiced their hope for a quality, efficient, effective and sustainable Code of Conduct in the waters to be finalized soon, according to Dung.

He went on to say that at the meetings, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh delivered straightforward and sincere statements in a constructive and friendly spirit, which won the support from many countries.

Reviewing the meetings, Deputy Minister Dung noted they obtained many good outcomes as seen in all the ASEAN members’ commitment to continuing to promote the ASEAN Community building. They pledged to make efforts to step up the Community building across all the three pillars of politics-security, economy and culture-society.

Many practical cooperation aspects were also promoted at the meetings like combating marine debris, capitalizing on new technologies, developing small- and medium-sized enterprises, enhancing business connectivity, and developing human resources adapting to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Additionally, ASEAN’s relations with partners were strengthened, he said, noting that the partner countries expressed their wish to reinforce ties with the bloc and put forth many new cooperation proposals.

Through these events, ASEAN’s stature and centrality in the regional architecture continued to be enhanced and respected by all partners, Dung said.

Regarding the AMM-52’s joint communiqué, the official noted the participating countries invested a lot of efforts in negotiating this document, and with a friendly, constructive and mutual understanding spirit, ASEAN managed to issue a joint communiqué with good and comprehensive content, fully reflecting the outcomes of the bloc’s cooperation process as well as issues of common concern.

Source: VNA