Senior officials from China and ASEAN member countries vowed to deepen pragmatic cooperation in the South China Sea during a Saturday meeting, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Monday.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin made the comment during a routine press conference in response to a question about the fourth meeting of senior officials from China and 10 ASEAN nations on the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC).
At the meeting, both parties agreed that peace and stability have generally been maintained in the South China Sea, Liu said, adding that both sides appreciate the positive efforts made by all relevant parties in this respect.
Both sides agreed that the implementation of the DOC brought about positive achievements in 2011, and China and ASEAN nations have been able to reach a consensus on implementing follow-up efforts under the DOC framework, Liu said.
Liu said ASEAN highly appreciates China's establishment of a 3-billion-yuan (476-million-U.S.-dollar) China-ASEAN maritime cooperation fund and believes the move will further promote the implementation of the DOC.
Both sides also discussed a timetable for DOC implementation in 2012, he said, adding that both sides agreed to hold a series of symposiums on DOC implementation in 2012.
Both sides also pledged to give full play to meetings between senior officials and the DOC joint working group in order to boost cooperation in the South China Sea, Liu said.