Mutual trust would emerge if every party prioritizes dialog and peaceful solution, as well as respect and abide by the existing international laws.
Bangkok, Thailand (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) laid due emphasis on the need to build strategic trust to maintain stability and peace in the South China Sea.

Mutual trust will emerge if all parties focus on dialog and a peaceful solution along with respecting and adhering to the existing international laws, including the 1982 UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea), Jokowi noted during the 22nd ASEAN-China Summit here on Sunday.

The president had observed the negotiation on the Code of Conduct (CoC) between ASEAN member countries and China, expected to be concluded within three years, since November 2018 when the ASEAN organized a business and investment conference in Singapore.

"What the president is keen to see is that the positive sentiment arising from the first reading of negotiation of the CoC is reflected on the field, notably in South China Sea," Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi stated after accompanying the president during the ASEAN-China Summit.

The CoC negotiation first reading was held by China and ASEAN member nations in July 2018. The second reading is scheduled to be organized in in 2020.

As an improvement to the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), the CoC is expected to be stronger and of better quality and targets to effectively regulate the behavior of states sharing borders in the maritime region in order to avert conflicts and disputes.

If the CoC negotiation is completed, then dispute, conflict, or overlapping claims in the South China Sea region are expected to no longer exist, Marsudi remarked.

During the negotiation process, strategic trust is necessary and must be promoted on a continual basis by reminding every party to exercise self-refraint, to desist from employing military force, and to create a conducive situation in the waters.

China has lauded efforts to continue the CoC negotiation with ASEAN member countries to create a peaceful, stable, and better South China Sea for future cooperation. Related news: Jokowi attends opening ceremony of 35th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok
Related news: RI`s stand on South China Sea conflict remains unchanged: President Jokowi


Translator: Yashinta DP, Fardah
Editor: Suharto
Copyright © ANTARA 2019