Beijing: The Senior Officials of ASEAN and China held their 19th Consultation here on Tuesday, and discussed wide ranging issues of mutual interests and concern.

The Meeting was co-chaired by H.E. Sihasak Phuangketkeow, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand and H.E. Zhang Yesui, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China.  Thailand is the current ASEAN Country Coordinator for ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations.

The Senior Officials discussed ways and means to further strengthen ASEAN-China relations, including preparations to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership this year.

H.E. Sihasak said that one of the key activities to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Strategic Partnership would be the convening of the ASEAN-China Special Foreign Ministers Meeting in Beijing.

“We also hope to undertake meaningful activities to show-case our Strategic Partnership,” said H.E. Sihasak.

The Senior Officials also exchanged views on: a) enhancing cooperation in connectivity; b) strengthening maritime cooperation; c) the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC); d) regional architecture; e) regional and international issues;  and, f) non-traditional security issues, including  food and energy security, climate change, disaster management, counter-terrorism, and other transnational crimes.

On the Implementation of the Declaration on the Code of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), the Senior Officials reaffirmed that maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea is very important for all countries in the region and will enhance the Strategic Partnership between ASEAN and China. In line with the ASEAN-China Joint Statement on the 10th Anniversary of the DOC adopted at the 15th ASEAN-China Summit in Cambodia in 2012, the Senior Officials agreed to uphold commitments on the implementation of the DOC in a full and effective manner. They also agreed to strengthen cooperation on joint cooperative projects and activities under the DOC, to maintain the momentum of dialogue and consultation to enhance trust and confidence, and to work toward the adoption of the COC on the basis of consensus. They further agreed to continue exchanging views on the way forward.

The Senior Officials of ASEAN, Ambassadors of ASEAN Member States to China and the representative of the ASEAN Secretariat paid a courtesy call on the Foreign Minister of China, H.E. Wang Yi, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China. Both sides agreed on the need to continue to advance their Strategic Partnership.