Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said during a foreign ministers' meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that the "page of the South China Sea arbitration has been turned over."
When meeting with Slovak Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajcak, whose country currently holds the rotating European Union (EU) Council presidency, Monday in the Lao capital, Wang said China and the ASEAN members have reached consensus on returning to the right track of dialogue and consultation between countries directly involved in the maritime disputes with a "dual-track" approach.
China has advocated the "dual-track" approach -- disputes should be resolved peacefully through negotiation between the parties directly concerned, and China and ASEAN countries should work together to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.
"The page of the South China Sea arbitration has been turned over," said the top Chinese diplomat, adding that the "dual-track" approach complies with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
He urged countries to focus on cooperation and jointly deal with other pressing challenges such as terrorism and climate change.
Lajcak said the EU welcomed the consensus reached between China and the ASEAN members on full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC).
The EU will not take sides on the South China Sea issue, and is ready to play a constructive role in helping solve the maritime spats.
When meeting with his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi on Tuesday, Wang noted that China and ASEAN members issued a joint statement on the full and effective implementation of the DOC, sending a positive signal that they pledged to safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea.
For her part, Retno said the ASEAN nations and China achieved positive results on Monday, which will contribute to the further development of ASEAN-China relations.
Indonesia is willing to join hands with China to maintain peace and stability in the region, she said.