Seminar talks ASEAN unity in facing East Sea challenges

Friday, 2013-06-21 14:42:05
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At the conference
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ASEAN unity in tackling maritime challenges in the East Sea was discussed at a seminar in Bangkok, Thailand on June 20.

The seminar was co-organised by the Thailand Institute of Security and International Studies (ISIS) and the Centre for Asian Strategic Studies in India and  attended by scholars from ASEAN countries, China, India and Japan, aiming to seek out peaceful and legal solutions to handle the maritime challenges facing ASEAN nations.

Director of the Thailand Institute of Security and International Studies (ISIS) Dr. Thitinan Pongsudhirak stressed that the 46-year-old ASEAN bloc plays a central role in regional issues, therefore, its solidarity and unity are critical for coping with marine challenges in the East Sea.

Nyunt Maung Shein, a delegate from Myanmar which will take over the ASEAN chair in 2014, affirmed that it is necessary for all parties to reach a strategic trust, which was proposed by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in his keynote speech at the recent Shangri-La Dialogue.

Mutual trust is crucial and will lay the foundation for dealing with current disputes, he added.

Vietnam’s representative at the event, Dr. Vo Xuan Vinh, highlighted the efforts ASEAN member states have made to seek peaceful solutions to disputes in the East Sea over the past years.

It is important for the group to share views on the disputes, which all need to be settled by peaceful means in accordance with international law including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and statements and principles signed between ASEAN and China, said Vinh.

ASEAN member countries also need to accelerate talks to develop the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) for regional peace and stability, he added.
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VNA