This undated photo shows a bird eye view of coral reefs in China's Xisha Islands, South China Sea. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
BEIJING – China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries have agreed to carry out practical marine cooperation projects and jointly uphold peace and stability in the South China Sea, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday.
Wang's remarks came after the 38th ASEAN-China Joint Working Group meeting on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), which was held in Jakarta, Indonesia from March 8 to 10.
Wang said that during the meeting, China and ASEAN countries continued to advance the consultation on the text of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) and had an in-depth exchange of views on the implementation of the DOC and maritime practical cooperation.
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"They agreed to carry out multiple practical cooperation projects in such fields as marine scientific research, environmental protection and search and rescue operation at sea, step up dialogue and communication, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and jointly uphold peace and stability in the South China Sea," he said.
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Wang added that the parties have also reached agreement on the working plan for this year and agreed to hold multiple rounds of the Senior Officials' Meeting on the Implementation of the DOC and Joint Working Group meeting of the DOC within this year and bring about greater progress in the COC consultation.