ASEAN needs to maintain solidarity, strengthen coordination and play key role in dealing with regional challenges, Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh has said.
In his speech at the 45th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, which took place in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on July 9, Minh emphasised that the group should bring into full play its role in creating new regional structure to make effective contributions to the common goals of peace, stability and cooperation.
Regarding external relations, he said ASEAN should further deepen relations with its partners and encourage them to contribute to regional cooperation.
Minister Minh expressed his deep concern over the recent complicated situation in the East Sea and reaffirmed the Vietnamese Government’s stance of opposing China’s approval of the establishment of the so-called “Sansha city” and its invitation for international bidding of the nine oil and gas lots which are located within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf mentioned in the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
China’s flurry activity of seriously has violated the sovereign right and the jurisdictional right of the coastal nations over exclusive economic zones and continental shelves in the provisions of the 1982 UNCLOS, and run counter to the spirit of the Declaration on the Conducts of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), Minh said.
He referred to the principles of respecting the sovereign right and the jurisdictional right of the coastal nations over exclusive economic zones and continental shelves in line with the provisions of the UNCLOS, solving disputes by peaceful means without the use of force and with respect to the international laws, including the 1982 UNCLOS, and the spirit of the DOC.
ASEAN should raise its leading role, responsibility and constructive spirit in solving matters relating to the common interest of the region, creating favourable environment for the parties concerned to peacefully settle the disputes, he said.