Art appreciation: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak admiring a calligraphy gift from Yang (second from left) in Putrajaya. With them are Anifah (second from right) and Dr Huang (right). — Bernama
PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia and China have agreed to settle South China Sea-related issues through a Declaration on the Conduct of Parties (DoC) in the South China Sea, and to speed up completion of a Code of Conduct (CoC) for the area.
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said the agreement was reached when he met with visiting China State Councillor Yang Jiechi at Wisma Putra yesterday.
The DoC was signed in 2002 between Asean and China to pave the way for the CoC, which is a set of guidelines to help avoid any friction in the area between the nations.
It provides a framework for settling disputes over territorial and maritime rights in the region, expressing that these should be resolved through negotiation in accordance with international law and in compliance with the spirit of the DoC.
The countries have since been working to draw up an official and binding CoC to further promote peace and stability.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Anifah said the issues discussed included the encroachment of Chinese fishermen into Malaysian waters.
“We raised our concerns and he said he will look into them. We believe that between friends we should be able to find solutions.
“We are not exactly neighbours but we share the same South China Sea, so we are bound to have that kind of problems,” he said.
Anifah said Malaysia even faced the same problem with Indonesia because of overlapping areas.
“Therefore, what we (Malaysia and China) have promised, is to settle all issues through the DoC and speed up completion of the CoC,” he added.
In March, it was reported that about 100 China-registered fishing boats and other vessels had been detected in Malaysian waters near Beting Patinggi Ali in the South China Sea.
It was also reported that the Foreign Ministry had summoned the Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia, Dr Huang Huikang, to register Malaysia’s concern over the matter.
On Yang’s visit, Anifah said it reflected the close ties between China and Malaysia. — Bernama