Foreign Minister Wang Yi called for practicing the norms and positions contained in the declaration signed in Phnom Penh in 2002 by representatives of China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to deal with disputes in that maritime space.
He urged to work to turn the South China Sea into a place where peace, friendship and cooperation prevail, advocating the joint rejection of any action or statement aimed at exacerbating tensions.
Wang pointed out that the area is neither a “safari park” nor a “fighting arena” where great powers confront each other, condemned shows of force in pursuit of hegemony and insisted on betting on on the principles of mutual respect.
He urged to deepen pragmatic cooperation in scientific research, environmental protection, resource management, and search and rescue operations in the South China Sea.
The Chinese Foreign minister made these remarks at a regional meeting to mark the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Phnom Penh Declaration.