Following is the full text of the joint statement.
“We, the Foreign Ministers of ASEAN Member States and the People’s
Republic of China met in Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, on
25 July 2016.
RECOGNISING that maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea
region serves the fundamental interests of ASEAN Member States and China
(“the Parties”) as well as the international community;
REAFFIRMING that the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South
China Sea (DOC) is a milestone document that embodies the collective
commitment of the Parties to promote peace, stability, mutual trust and
confidence in the region, in accordance with the UN Charter and
universally recognised principles of international law, including the
1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS);
REAFFIRMING the importance and role of the DOC in maintaining peace and stability in the region;
COMMITTED to the full and effective implementation of the DOC in its
entirety and working substantively towards the early adoption of a Code
of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) based on consensus;
RECALLING the Joint Statement of the 15th ASEAN-China Summit on the 10th Anniversary of the DOC adopted in 2012;
HERE BY state the following:
1. The Parties reaffirm their respect for and commitment to the freedom
of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea as provided
for by the universally recognised principles of international law,
including the 1982 UNCLOS.
2. The Parties concerned undertake to resolve their territorial and
jurisdictional disputes by peaceful means, without resorting to the
threat or use of force, through friendly consultations and negotiations
by sovereign states directly concerned, in accordance with universally
recognised principles of international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS.
3. The Parties undertake to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of
activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace
and stability including, among others, refraining from action of
inhabiting on the presently uninhabited islands, reefs, shoals, cays,
and other features and to handle their differences in a constructive
4. The Parties may explore or undertake cooperative activities, in
fields such as navigation safety, search and rescue, marine scientific
research, environmental protection, and combating transnational crimes
5. The Parties encourage other countries to respect the principles contained in the DOC.
6. The Parties concerned reaffirm that the adoption of a code of conduct
in the South China Sea would further promote peace and stability in the
region and agree to work, on the basis of consensus, towards the
eventual attainment of this objective.”