PHNOM PENH, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- Senior officials of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China concluded their two-day workshop on a major document concerning the South China Sea here Friday, agreeing to implement the document fully and effectively to maintain peace in the region, said a Cambodian official.
"I am very satisfied with the discussion. It was a candid and frank talk and all participants from ASEAN and China had actively expressed their views," said Soeung Rathchavy, secretary of state at Cambodia's Foreign Ministry, who chaired the workshop to mark the 10th anniversary of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC).
"It is a positive sign that both ASEAN and China frankly spoke about the issue of the South China Sea," she said. "ASEAN and China are considered as a great family."
She said both ASEAN and China agreed that the DOC must be implemented fully and effectively in order to transform the South China Sea into a permanent sea of peace, stability, friendship and cooperation for mutual benefits and interests.
ASEAN and China signed the DOC in Phnom Penh in 2002, when Cambodia acted as rotating chair of ASEAN. Nine years later, the foreign ministers of ASEAN and China finally reached an agreement on the DOC Guidelines at when they met in Bali, Indonesia, in July 2011, in a fresh move to pave the way for the effective implementation of the milestone document.
"The participants agreed that drafting the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea should be made together by ASEAN and China based on consensus," she said.
According to a press release after the workshop, both sides also stressed the importance of carrying out activities related to the DOC to further promote confidence and trust as the foundation of cooperation between ASEAN and China, especially in relation to issues concerning the South China Sea.
"The workshop also underscored the importance to continue strengthening the ASEAN-China strategic partnership, which has been maturing over the years," the press release said.