Former Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan said in Singapore Friday that it serves the common interests of China, ASEAN and countries in the region to maintain peace and stability of the South China Sea, prevent the widening and complication of the issue, and avoid regional conflict and tension.
Delivering an opening keynote speech at the inaugural Singapore Global dialogue organized by the S Rajaratnam School for International Studies, Tang said China stands ready to continue to strengthen dialogue and cooperation with countries concerned to allow parties to the matter settle the dispute peacefully through bilateral friendly consultations.
Pending the resolution of the dispute, differences may be shelved and joint development be conducted, said Tang.
He stressed that the "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea" (DOC) need to be followed in good faith to create mutual trust between countries concerned and favorable conditions and atmosphere for the ultimate settlement of bilateral disputes.
Tang said the Chinese government attaches great importance to the security of international shipping routes and freedom of passage in the South China Sea, and ensures legitimate freedom of navigation and overflight of other countries in the South China Sea according to international law.
"I believe, through concerted efforts of countries concerned, the South China Sea can, by all means, be a sea of peace, cooperation and friendship," he said.