SFA Loc­sin, FM Wang Yi lead Asean-china Min­is­te­rial Meet­ing

BusinessMirror - - Envoys & Expats - DFA

SEC­RE­TARY of For­eign Af­fairs (SFA) Teodoro L. Loc­sin Jr., with China’s State Coun­cilor and For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi, cochaired the Asean-china Min­is­te­rial Meet­ing on Septem­ber 9 by video­con­fer­ence.

The for­eign min­is­ters re­viewed the progress in their di­a­logue re­la­tions and dis­cussed ways to deepen their co­op­er­a­tion across the po­lit­i­cal-se­cu­rity, eco­nomic and so­cio­cul­tural pil­lars. They also ex­changed views on re­gional is­sues, in­clud­ing the sit­u­a­tions sur­round­ing the coro­n­avirus dis­ease 2019 (Covid-19) and in the South China Sea.

The Philip­pines serves as the coun­try co­or­di­na­tor for Aseanchina Di­a­logue Re­la­tions from 2018 to 2021.

Of­fi­cials from the bloc ex­pressed ap­pre­ci­a­tion for China’s an­nounce­ment of its $1 mil­lion con­tri­bu­tion to the Asean Covid-19 Re­sponse Fund and the al­lo­ca­tion of $5 mil­lion to the Asean-china Co­op­er­a­tion

Fund, which will be used to­ward strength­en­ing joint ef­forts and projects ad­dress­ing pub­lic health emer­gen­cies. China also re­it­er­ated its pre­vi­ous pro­nounce­ments to make its Covid-19 vac­cine a global pub­lic good.

Loc­sin re­it­er­ated the Philip­pines’s com­mit­ment to push for­ward ne­go­ti­a­tions to­ward an ef­fec­tive and sub­stan­tive Code of Con­duct (COC) in the South China Sea. The coun­try’s top diplo­mat high­lighted the com­ple­tion of the first read­ing of the Sin­gle Draft COC Ne­go­ti­at­ing Text and the com­mence­ment of its sec­ond read­ing in 2019.

“As a com­mu­nity of law-abid­ing na­tions, we em­pha­size that dis­putes should be re­solved in a peace­ful

man­ner in ac­cor­dance with in­ter­na­tional law, in­clud­ing the 1982 [United Na­tions Con­ven­tion on the Law of the Sea, or] Un­c­los,” he stated.

While not­ing that the out­break of Covid-19 as well as the en­su­ing re­stric­tions im­posed on travel and move­ment pre­cluded sched­uled face-to-face meet­ings, the SFA en­cour­aged fel­low mem­ber-states and China to re­sume dis­cus­sions.

“It is im­per­a­tive to bring ev­ery­one back to the ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble [and] demon­strate to the world that we are sin­cerely com­mit­ted and de­ter­mined

to ar­rive at a con­clu­sive re­sult, one way or the other; but we must get down to sin­cere and se­ri­ous work,” he ex­horted.

The par­ties also reaf­firmed im­ple­ment­ing com­mit­ments un­der the Asean-china Free Trade Agree­ment, or ACFTA, to mit­i­gate the ad­verse eco­nomic im­pact of the pan­demic, as well as boost greater eco­nomic and trade co­op­er­a­tion. Th­ese ef­forts will sup­port the joint tar­get of two-way trade of $1 tril­lion and $150 bil­lion in in­vest­ments by the end of 2020.

DFA

SEC­RE­TARY Teodoro L. Loc­sin Jr. (cen­ter), with the Chi­nese and Asean for­eign min­is­ters

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