Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung will leave for Myanmar next week for the 25th Summit of the regional grouping Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The event is due to take place in Myanmar’s capital city of Nay Pyi Taw on Nov. 12-13.
Early this week, VOA said it acquired a leaked draft of of the chairman’s statement for the summit, which notes that ASEAN leaders expressed “concerns over recent development in the South China Sea, which have increased tensions in the sea.”
The leaked statement, written in past tense as if the summit had already happened, also notes progress on a Code of Conduct for the South China Sea and urges the group's members to peacefully resolve their maritime disputes with China, according to VOA.
VOA quoted Aung Lin, Myanmar’s Director of ASEAN Affairs, as saying that the draft was distributed in advance among ASEAN members to get their opinion, and may be altered after discussion at the summit.
The dispute in South China Sea, known in Vietnam as the East Sea, has eased in recent weeks, after China removed an oil rig from waters well within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone.
China and ASEAN reached a non-binding declaration of conduct more than a decade ago, and have been working on a Code of Conduct since then.
Little progress has been made though, with China maintaining that it will negotiate territorial disputes only in one-on-one talks and has rejected any multilateral venue for dealing with the issues.
Myanmar also hosted the 24th ASEAN Summit on May 10 – 11, 2014, which focused on the solidarity and leading role of the bloc in issues related to peace, security, stability and cooperation in the region.