The 24th ASEAN Summit, under Myanmar’s Chairmanship with theme “Moving forward in Unity to a Peaceful and Prosperous Community”, release a press statement, Monday, saying, “We reiterated our commitment to a rules-based community which would guarantee peace, security and stability throughout the region.”
ASEAN also said, “We reaffirmed our pledge to strengthen democracy, enhance good governance and the rule of law and to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms. In this regard, we committed to adhere to the principles of respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, peaceful settlement of disputes and non interference in internal affairs.”
Earlier in the summit, ASEAN countries’ foreign affairs heads stated the need of expeditiously working towards an early conclusion of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.
However, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying responded to ASEAN countries saying that China is in dispute not with entire Southeast Asia. “China is opposed to certain country’s scheme of spoiling the atmosphere of friendly cooperation between China and ASEAN by making use of the issue of the South China Sea. China is ready to press ahead with the comprehensive and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) together with ASEAN countries, so as to safeguard peace and stability of the region. China also hopes that relevant ASEAN countries can earnestly respect and implement the DOC and make positive contributions to peace, stability and maritime security in the South China Sea.”
China may be pertaining to Philippines or Vietnam when it said a certain country is “spoiling the atmosphere of friendly cooperation between China and ASEAN.” Philippines and Vietnam in the past week had an exchange of heated statement with China with regards to territorial dispute in South China Sea.