Chinese Premier calls for maintaining peace, stability in South China Sea

2021-10-28 08:07:14Xinhua Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday said that maintaining peace, stability and the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea serves the common interests of all parties.

Li made the remarks when attending the 16th East Asia Summit.

He noted that China is the world's largest trader in goods and over 60 percent of its trade in goods goes through the South China Sea. "Peace and stability in the South China Sea concern China's vital interests."

"Thanks to the joint efforts of China and ASEAN countries, the situation in the South China Sea has maintained overall stability and there has never been a problem with the freedom of navigation and overflight," Li said.

Li said that China is committed to the path of peaceful development. As a party to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), China has all along worked with ASEAN countries to properly handle the South China Sea issue on the basis of mutual respect and in accordance with international laws including UNCLOS and in light of the regional realities.

"In keeping with such a spirit and principles, we successfully signed the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and are fully and effectively implementing the DOC. It is also in keeping with the same spirit and principles that we are actively advancing negotiations on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) and have agreed to reach an early conclusion of an effective, substantive COC consistent with international laws including UNCLOS," said the Premier.

He stressed that the efforts regional countries have made in maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea should be respected, and expressed the hope that all parties support regional countries in making the South China Sea a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation. 


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