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Push for China-ASEAN Maritime Cooperation Partnershsip
May 13, 2014

 

The 7th ASEAN-China Senior Officials' Meeting on the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and the 20th ASEAN-China Senior Officials' Consultation (20th ACSOC) was held in Pattaya, Thailand recently. 

Senior Chinese and ASEAN officials attending two back-to-back meetings have pledged to further strengthen China-ASEAN cooperation in a wide range of fields such as maritime search and rescue, security, and trade. They agreed to push forward the building of China-ASEAN Maritime Cooperation Partnership and make good use of the China-ASEAN Maritime Cooperation Fund.

China suggested setting up three technical committees respectively regarding maritime search and rescue, combating cross-border crimes, and maritime scientific research and environment protection. These technical committees will facilitate the implementation of the DOC. Maybe within the year, a hotline could be set up for search and rescue at sea, which could be a tangible achievement in the process of implementing the DOC.

Chinese and ASEAN officials also agreed to strengthen cooperation in defence and security and discuss the regularization of China-ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting. They also reached consensus on enhancing cooperation in non-traditional security such as disaster reduction and relief, maritime law enforcement, and combating transnational crimes.

Thailand proposed hosting a Regional Symposium on Combating Transnational Crimes at Seas in mid-September this year, which will address challenges of maritime security and reflect ASEAN-China's efforts to promote a peaceful and stable environment in an evolving regional architecture.

They expressed their determination in continuing the efforts to achieve ASEAN-China trade target of US$ 1 trillion by 2020. China's initiative to upgrade the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA) is an important contributor to such an endeavor.

The outcomes of these two meetings serve as groundwork to ensure the success of the upcoming ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference Session with China, to be held in August and the 17th ASEAN-China Summit, to be held in November this year. Thailand will host the 12th Joint Working Group on DOC to carry forward the momentum of ASEAN-China cooperation. 

 

 


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