Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli proposed to step up maritime cooperation between China and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as he addressed the 12th China-ASEAN Expo on Friday.
Zhang said at the opening ceremony of the event in the southern Chinese city of Nanning that peace and stability in the South China Sea is important to regional development, prosperity and wellbeing, and is in the common interests of countries in the region.
"China is willing to work with ASEAN countries to comprehensively and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, and accelerate consultations on formulating a Code of Conduct for the South China Sea, in order to jointly maintain peace and stability," he said.
The vice premier suggested more regional cooperation in the maritime economy and communication, scientific research and environmental protection, maritime safety, and cultural exchanges. This year has been named "the China-ASEAN maritime cooperation year."
The expo, lasting from Friday to Monday, is themed "creating a new blueprint for maritime cooperation by jointly building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road", referring to the project to develop a stronger regional trade and infrastructure network.