The defence minister’s meeting between ASEAN and China has come to an agreement that they will forge ahead to help resolve disputes in the South China Sea peacefully.
Defence Ministry spokesman Kongcheep Tantrawanich said yesterday Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon represented the Defence Minister at the meeting between Asean and China, which was held via video conference to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their relations.
Lt Gen Tantrawanich said China’s Defence Minister, Wei Fenghe, said in the meeting that China will help tackle territorial disputes in the South China Sea while maintaining peace with other claimant nations to secure integrity in the region.
He also said Gen Fenghe told the meeting that ASEAN has been a great ally to China in strengthening ties among peoples while China itself will help foster economic and security cooperation. It will also help the region fight against the spread of COVID-19.
The South China Sea is considered one of the busiest waterways in the world and is a significant gateway for trade and merchant shipping. The South China Sea disputes are maritime and island claims between different sovereign states in the region.
The countries party to these disputes are China, Brunei, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Malaysia and are geopolitically located in the Indo-Pacific region.
Lt Gen Tantrawanich said ASEAN member countries have praised China for strengthening international cooperation in the region and thanked China for delivering medical equipment and vaccines to help control the spread of COVID-19.
He said Gen Wongsuwon said the meeting mainly discussed solving the infection surge and COVID-19 impact through sustainable trade and investment promotion.