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China & ASEAN hold talks over S. China Sea issue

CCTV.com

06-15-2016 00:22 BJT

Full coverage: South China Sea Is Indisputable Part of China

A special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting has wrapped up in Yunnan, in southwest China. Cooperation and development topped the meeting’s agenda. The foreign ministers also discussed peaceful means to resolving South China Sea disputes.

A Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting has wrapped up in Yunnan, in southwest China.

 A Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting has wrapped up in Yunnan, in southwest China.

The meeting sent out a message: the South China Sea issue does not define the China-ASEAN relationship. The special Foreign Ministers meeting, held in southwest China, marked a 25 year dialogue-partnership between China and ASEAN.

“Our cooperation is bigger than our differences; our opportunities are bigger than our challenges; our solidarity is bigger than our problems. We should handle our differences properly and disregard outside interference, so that our relationship can develop on the right path,” said Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi.

A Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting has wrapped up in Yunnan, in southwest China.

A Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting has wrapped up in Yunnan, in southwest China. 

It was a meeting that took place just before ruling is expected from an international arbitration body in a process unilaterally launched by the Philippines challenging China’s territorial sovereignty in the South China Sea. Manila unilaterally filed the case back in 2013.

China refuses to recognize the arbitration court’s jurisdiction, issues of territorial sovereignty are not governed by the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Beijing says the arbitration suit also violates previous agreements between China and the Philippines to settle disputes through negotiation.

“Disputes in the South China Sea should be settled by directly concerned states peacefully through negotiation and consultation, as stipulated in Article 4 of the DOC,” Wang said.

China and ASEAN nations signed the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) more than a decade ago.

Chinese and ASEAN officials also want to establish a legally binding code of conduct to maintain peace and stability in the region.

“Faced with a chaotic international order, our region cannot become another hotbed for instability,” Wang said.

Attendees are calling the meeting a success because it demonstrates that channels of communication are open, and that the parties are able to solve their differences through frank and candid discussion.

The talks were held at the request of ASEAN and are expected to pave the way for a China-ASEAN summit, scheduled to take place this September in Laos.

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