ASEAN, China Must Contribute to South China Seas Security, President Says
Commemorating 25 years of ASEAN-China cooperation, President Joko Jokowi Widodo said that China is ASEANs main partner on trade. China-ASEAN trade reaches US$346.6 billion, while Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flowing from China to ASEAN is placed fourth in ASEAN or around US$8.2 billion.
According to Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi, President Jokowi reminded all that cooperation, particularly on trade sector, in the future should be balanced and mutually beneficial. Therefore, to carry on this fine momentum of cooperation on trade and investment sectors, the President reminded all to pay attention to the peace and stability.
The economic growth or cooperation is impossible to remain good if we do not pay attention to other aspects, namely the importance to maintain the security and stability, President Jokowi said in the 19th ASEAN-China Summit on Wednesday (7/9), in Vientiane, Laos.
President Jokowi further said that in order to maintain security and stability, ASEAN and China must contribute to the peace and stability in the region. The security in South China Sea must be maintained by respecting international laws, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the President added.
President Jokowi also asserted that the dispute must be solved peacefully, the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties (DOC) in the South China Sea must be implemented fully and effectively, and the negotiation and solution for Code of Conduct (COC) must be accelerated.
Those are some measures that can be taken by ASEAN and China to ensure the security and stability in the South China Sea, the President stated.
Approval of Two Documents
Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi said that this meeting, in the context of ASEAN-China relations, resulted two documents, namely Joint Statement on the Observance of CUES (Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea) in the South China Sea and the Communication/Hotline Procedures between Officials at the ASEAN Foreign Ministry and China on Maritime Emergency Response in the South China Sea.
The hotline must be owned by officials at the ASEAN Foreign Ministry when emergency situation occurs. Contact persons are already listed in each Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Retno said adding that contact persons for Indonesia are Director-General for ASEAN Cooperation Jose Tavares and Director for Politics and Security of the Directorate General of ASEAN Cooperation Chandra Yudha.
Retno hopes, CUES and hotline communication as well as the contact persons will make the situation in the South China Sea more conducive, well-maintained, and can avoid unintended incidents.
Aside from the discussion on peace and stability, President Jokowi also emphasized the importance to improve security in maritime trade routes. Because more than US$5 trillion of trade passes through the maritime routes around Indonesia, the President said.
Therefore, President Jokowi stressed on the importance to strengthen cooperation on maritime sector, including its implementation in East Asia Summit (EAS), as well as to build trust among the related countries. (EN/ES)(RAS/MMB/YM/Naster)