ASEAN vows to sign deal with China on disputed territories

JAKARTA, INDONESIA – Southeast Asian foreign ministers finalized negotiations with China on a proposed deal aimed at preventing disputes in the disputed South China Sea at their annual retreat in the Indonesian capital on Saturday. vowed to decide.

In the final session of the two-day conference, ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will pledge to implement a five-step agreement between ASEAN leaders and Burmese military leader General Min Aung in 2021. also agreed to unite in the approach of Hlaing trying to end the country’s worsening crisis.

China and its ASEAN member states, including four rival states claiming territorial claims in the South China Sea, have been working for years on a “code of conduct,” a set of regional norms and rules aimed at preventing clashes in disputed waters. We have had sporadic discussions over the years. .

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said Indonesia, this year’s ASEAN chair, was ready to hold further negotiations on the proposed agreement, the first of which would take place in March. She said ASEAN members were committed to ending discussions “as soon as possible.”

“Members are also working to facilitate the implementation of the Declaration of Conduct,” Marsudi added.

Marsudi did not elaborate, but has accused the Chinese government in the past of interfering in what Washington calls the Asian conflict. has ships and jets in Aggressive actions by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) have often been flagged, including the construction of islands with weapons such as surface-to-air missiles.

Sidharto Suryodipuro, head of ASEAN cooperation at Indonesia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told reporters in Jakarta that ASEAN member states will push negotiations this year and explore new approaches.

“We all agreed that it must be effectively enforceable in accordance with international law and that a code of conduct must meet this standard,” Suliodiplo said, adding that Indonesia should not only include China in the negotiation process. It plans to involve many countries, he added.

“This is an exploratory phase.

The CCP, which has been heavily criticized for militarizing strategic waterways, has said it has the right to build them on its own territory and defend them at all costs.

Vietnam, one of four ASEAN claimants, has expressed concern over the Chinese Communist Party’s conversion of seven disputed coral reefs into artificial islands, including three with runways. There is also an island, which now looks like a small city armed with weapon systems.

China’s allies, ASEAN member states Cambodia and Laos, have opposed using strong language against Beijing in the dispute.

Indonesia is not among the governments disputing China’s claim to virtually the entire South China Sea, but it did so after China claimed part of Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone in the northern region of the Natuna Islands. expressed.

The edge of the exclusive economic zone overlaps with the “nine-dash line” that marks the Chinese Communist Party’s unilateral claims in the South China Sea.

On the issue of Burma (also known as Myanmar), Foreign Minister Marsudi said at a press conference on Saturday that ASEAN foreign ministers reiterated the urgent need for the Burmese military government to implement a five-point consensus, saying it would be “very important for ASEAN.” important,” he said.

On Friday, ministers urged Burma’s military rulers to reduce violence and allow unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid to pave the way for a national dialogue aimed at ending the crisis.

Burma, also an ASEAN member, was excluded from Friday’s annual ministerial meeting after the country failed to implement a five-step consensus.

Marsudi said inclusive public dialogue was “key to finding a peaceful solution to the situation in Myanmar” and that reducing violence and providing humanitarian assistance were “top priorities for building trust and confidence”. Ministers agreed on one thing, he said.

She said the lack of progress in Burma “tests our credibility” as a group and that ASEAN’s efforts for peace will be coordinated with those of other countries and the United Nations. .

Burmese military leaders have sent a special ASEAN envoy to jailed exiled leader Aung San Su to facilitate dialogue aimed at easing the crisis caused by the military’s seizure of power two years ago. He promised in a five-point agreement that he would be allowed to meet with Qi and others.

Burma, however, excluded Min Aung Hlaing from last November’s ASEAN summit meeting after an ASEAN envoy refused to meet with Suu Kyi last year.

“People hope Indonesia can provide fresh air for finding a political solution to the worsening conflict in Myanmar,” said Dina Praputo Raharjah, an international relations analyst at independent think tank Synergy Policies. should,” he said.

“The division of power in Myanmar is getting worse and managing violence is becoming more complicated,” she said.

Niniek Carmini