The 14th Senior Officials’ Meeting on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) will be convened on Thursday in Guiyang in China’s Guizhou Province. According to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin and senior diplomatic officials from ASEAN countries will attend the meeting, reports Xinhua news agency. “China and ASEAN countries will continue with their discussion on implementing the DOC, pushing forward maritime practical cooperation and issues related to the negotiation on the code of conduct in the South China Sea (COC),” said the spokesperson.
She added that China and the Philippines will convene the first meeting of the bilateral consultation mechanism on the South China Sea issue in Guiyang on May 19, when the Chinese Vice Foreign Minister and Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Sta. Romana will attend the meeting to discuss the South China Sea issue.China expects and believes that the two countries will consolidate consensus, enhance trust, and clarify misunderstandings through bilateral talks, while properly handling differences and promoting maritime cooperation, to create conditions for solving relevant disputes, said Hua.
The DOC, signed in 2002 by China and ASEAN countries, outlines the most important principles in the management of disputes on the South China Sea, and consultations for the COC were launched by the two sides in 2013.