China, the US and Russia, along with other major powers, have underlined their shared interest in sustaining peace and stability in the region, through the “peaceful” resolution of conflicts.

The 18th East Asia leaders’ Summit (EAS) – held on the sidelines of the 43th ASEAN Summit on September 7 in the Indonesian capital Jakarta – was attended by the leaders of ASEAN member states as well as representatives from Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia, and the US, along with Timor-Leste as an observer.

Chinese Premier Li Qiang, US Vice President Kamala Harris and Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov all took part.

“We further reaffirm the common interest to maintain, promote, and sustain peace, stability, and prosperity in the region, including through the peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with international law,” declared a joint statement.

The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the purposes and principles reflected in the UN and ASEAN charters, the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), the 2005 Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the East Asia Summit, and the 2011 Declaration of the East Asia Summit on the Principles for Mutually Beneficial Relations, known as the Bali Principles.

“We stress our commitment to the EAS as a leader-led forum for dialogue and cooperation on broad strategic, political and economic issues of common interest and concern with the aim of promoting peace, stability and economic prosperity in East Asia.

“We express our willingness to work together to promote the common goals and interests of the EAS participating countries based on the established principles, objectives and modalities of the EAS,” added the statement.

The leaders support ASEAN centrality and reaffirm the bloc as the driving force within the EAS, in which they strive to promote strategic trust and ensure transparent, predictable and responsible behaviour.

They recognise that a maritime regime in the region that is consistent with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), has facilitated their region’s impressive economic growth.

They acknowledge the opportunities and challenges presented by the rapidly changing global and regional geopolitical and geo-economic landscapes, including the advancement in technology and the fourth industrial revolution.

“We further recognise that the impacts of rising geopolitical tensions and conflicts, global economic volatilities, socio-economic inequalities, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the urgent challenge of climate change require joint efforts and mutual support in the region and beyond,” they said.

All the leaders reaffirm their shared commitment to enabling an environment of peace, stability, good governance, prosperity and sustainable development through a culture of dialogue and cooperation.

They renewed their pledges to promote multilateralism based on international law, particularly the principles of the UN Charter, including strengthening the regional multilateral architecture to tackle pressing common regional and global issues and challenges.

“We hereby declare to reaffirm our shared commitment to reinforce an open, transparent and inclusive regional architecture, anchored in international law, with ASEAN at the centre as guided by the purposes and principles of ASEAN and ASEAN-led mechanisms,” added the statement.

They also renewed pledge to maintain and promote the region as an “epicentrum of growth” by building resilience against emerging challenges and future shocks through cooperation on enhancing energy security and food security, maintaining financial stability and strengthening regional health architecture.