The following is an excerpt from Chairman’s Statement of the 30th ASEAN Summit in Manila on 29 April 2017 that focuses on the South China Sea issues:
South China Sea
120. We reaffirmed the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security and freedom of navigation and over-flight in and above the South China Sea. We welcomed the operationalization of the Guidelines for Hotline Communications among Senior Officials of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of ASEAN Member States and China in Response to Maritime Emergencies in the Implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and look forward to the early operationalization of the other early harvest measure which is the Joint Statement on the Application of the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) in the South China Sea. We took note of concerns expressed by some Leaders over recent developments in the area. We reaffirmed the importance of the need to enhance mutual trust and confidence, exercising self-restraint in the conduct of activities, and avoiding actions that may further complicate the situation, and pursuing the peaceful resolution of disputes, without resorting to the threat or use of force.
121. We underscored the importance of the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in its entirety. We took note of the improving cooperation between ASEAN and China. We welcomed the progress to complete a framework of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) by middle of this year, in order to facilitate the early conclusion of an effective COC. We recognized the long-term benefits that would be gained from having the South China Sea as a sea of peace, stability and sustainable development.
Maritime Security and Cooperation
120. We reaffirmed the need to strengthen cooperation and constructive dialogue on maritime security, maritime safety, maritime environment, and other maritime issues, including search and rescue, piracy and armed robbery against ships at sea, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and other crimes related to fisheries, and other crimes at sea, through ASEAN led-mechanism such as the AMF and EAMF, ARF, ADMM, and ADMM- Plus. We looked forward to strengthening ASEAN cooperation to deal with these threats and discuss with our Dialogue Partners cooperative frameworks and measures as soon as practicable. We expressed anticipation of the forthcoming Seventh AMF and the Fifth EAMF to be held in Jakarta later this year.
The full statement can be read at http://asean.org/chairmans-statement-30th-asean-summit/
And below are selected reports on the ASEAN Summit and the progress to the final version of the Chairman’s Statement on the South China Sea issues:
Treaties, Agreements and Joint Statements: