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The 19th China-ASEAN Summit Adopts Guidelines for Hotline Communications among Senior Officials of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of China and ASEAN Member States in Response to Maritime Emergencies
2016/09/08

On September 7, 2016, at the 19th China-ASEAN Summit held in Vientiane, Laos, leaders from China and ASEAN countries jointly reviewed and approved the Guidelines for Hotline Communications among Senior Officials of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of China and ASEAN Member States in Response to Maritime Emergencies. As one of the important outcome documents of the meeting, the guidelines stipulate the purpose, scope of application, definitions of terminologies, and the designation and application procedures of contact points of the senior diplomatic officials’ hotline platform, marking its official launch.

The senior diplomatic officials’ hotline platform aims at providing an instant and effective communication channel among diplomatic authorities of all countries involved in maritime emergencies that require policy-level intervention. After the establishment of the platform, senior diplomatic officials from all countries involved can conduct direct communication and coordination on relevant emergencies to manage and control risks, jointly discuss countermeasures and maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.

The establishment of the senior diplomatic officials’ hotline platform fully demonstrates the willingness of China and ASEAN countries to conduct practical maritime cooperation by centering on the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and the determination of countries within the region to jointly manage and control maritime risks and safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea. China and ASEAN countries prove once again with practical actions that regional countries are confident, capable, determined and willing to maintain regional peace and stability and facilitate regional prosperity and development.

As one of China’s practical maritime cooperation initiatives proposed in 2014 under the framework of the implementation of the DOC, the senior diplomatic officials’ hotline platform was listed in the Chairman’s Statement of the 17th China-ASEAN Summit as part of the “early-harvest” project results. After more than two years’ efforts, China and ASEAN countries have reached agreement on the concept paper and guidelines of the platform and formulated the contact information guide of senior diplomatic officials of China and ASEAN countries.

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