Thailand hosts an informal meeting of foreign ministers of the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) members in Prachuap Khiri Khan province Wednesday to prepare topics for a special Asean-China meeting in Beijing.
The Asean-China meeting is set to be held in Beijing from Aug 28-30. Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Surapong Tovichakchaikul said discussions during the informal meeting included preparations for the Asean-China meeting, the empowerment of Asean and the direction of Asean after the formation of the Asean Community (AC) by 2015. He added that the meeting will also discuss the Declaration of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) so that it will be developed together with the Code of Conduct (COC), which Thailand and China will discuss officially next month.
It will also discuss an agenda on Thailand’s plan to reach new markets in Africa as well as Latin American countries’ interests in meeting Asean ministers in November. Surapong noted that this was a good opportunity as normally they met once a year at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.