Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's Foreign Affairs Ministry's Foreign Policy Strategy Agency Head, Yayan G.H. Mulyana, believes it is time for Southeast Asia and China to contemplate on joint efforts to face common challenges in the South China Sea.

"I think it is timely for us to reflect on what collective efforts we can exert and what figure we can inject to make it more impactful while maintaining integrity and relevance in facing common challenges," Mulyana remarked at the opening of the 32nd Workshop on Managing Potential Conflict in the South China Sea that was monitored online from Jakarta, Thursday.

The workshop was organized by the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the Geospatial Information Agency and the Center for Southeast Asian Studies.

Participants invited to the workshop came from Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, China, and Chinese Taipei.

Mulyana underscored the need for Southeast Asian countries and China to bolster collaboration with the objective of overcoming common challenges.

"We must strengthen collaboration and cooperation, with a view of addressing our common challenges," Mulyana affirmed.

On this occasion, Mulyana also noted that coral reefs in the southeastern South China Sea were being destroyed due to overfishing, natural disasters, coral reef bleaching, and climate change.

"We need to tackle these challenges (destruction of coral reefs). We must work together for maximizing the use of science, technology, and innovation," Mulyana stated.

Mulyana also emphasized the need for Southeast Asia and China to nurture the habits of communication, dialogue, and collaboration among countries to pave the way for future generations.

"(With) the rapid changes in social and political landscapes, the best way to prevent potential conflicts is constant and continuous dialogue and communication, so that we are able to create the most reliable joint solutions," Mulyana stated.

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Translator: Cindy Frishanti Octavia
Editor: Sri Haryati
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