The 26th ASEAN Summit on April 27 issued the Chairman’s Statement dealing with global and regional issues, including the East Sea issue.
In the statement, leaders expressed their serious concerns on the land reclamation being undertaken in the East Sea, which has eroded trust and confidence and may undermine peace, security and stability in the sea.
In this regard, they said they instructed Foreign Ministers to urgently address this matter constructively including under the various ASEAN frameworks such as ASEAN-China relations, as well as the principle of peaceful co-existence.
They also reaffirmed the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security and freedom of navigation in and over-flight over the East Sea (internationally known as the South China Sea).
“We emphasised the need for all parties to ensure the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea in its entirety: to build, maintain and enhance mutual trust and confidence; exercising self-restraint in the conduct of activities; to not to resort to threat or use of force; and for the parties concerned to resolve their differences and disputes through peaceful means, in accordance with international law including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea”, the statement said.
While noting the progress made in the consultations on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC), they urged that consultations be intensified, to ensure the expeditious establishment of an effective COC.