"ASEAN and China must get rid of mutual distrust to be able to discuss and make agreements in CoC negotiations," Foreign Ministry Director General of ASEAN Cooperation, Jose Tavares, said in Jakarta on Tuesday.
The statement was conveyed during a public discussion, themed "A Debriefing on the 33rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits: The Scorecard in Pushing Forward for ASEAN Centrality."
According to Tavares, if ASEAN member countries are convinced that China is willing to negotiate the CoC well, it will answer many concerns, including the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea region.
"To be honest, now we can see that our colleagues from China are already open in dealing with the issue (South China Sea)," he added.
The Indonesian government has always stressed the importance of CoC in the South China Sea to control the situation in the disputed region in order to remain stability and peace.
The matters discussed and included in the CoC regarding the South China Sea in principle are about ways to deal with disputes in the region based on international law and norms.
Some progress has been made in the efforts to deal with disputes and reduce tensions in the South China Sea.
Regarding CoC, there has been progress in the CoC negotiations, where in 2017, ASEAN countries and China agreed on the CoC framework and agreed to start CoC negotiations.
Then in August 2018, ASEAN and China agreed on a single draft text of negotiations on the South China Sea CoC, which would serve as the basis for the use of CoC in handling disputes in the South China Sea region.
Editor: Andi Abdussalam
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