Chinese FM calls for further regional cooperation at ARF foreign ministers' meeting

11:28, July 24, 2011      

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Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi called for further pragmatic regional cooperation at the just-concluded 18th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Foreign Ministers' Meeting held Saturday.

Yang said that addressing differences through talks and negotiations and dealing with common challenges through cooperation have become a consensus between countries in the region.

He said developing economy and improving people's livelihoods still top the agenda of the Asia-Pacific region. All the parties should trust but not suspect one another, and cooperate with but not confront each other, he added.

China will stick to the road of peaceful development, follow the opening-up strategy based on mutual benefit and work with other Asia-Pacific countries to create a peaceful, stable, equal and win-win situation.

As to the South China Sea issue, Yang said the dispute should be settled by directly related parties through friendly negotiation and in a peaceful manner.

The channels for dialogue and consultation between related parties are open and the overall situation in the South China Sea is peaceful and stable, he said.

The minister said properly handling the dispute, enhancing mutual trust and expanding cooperation serve the common interest of every country in the region and this is also the direction that all the concerned countries should move towards.

Yang said the importance of the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea is self-evident, adding that the countries, whether inside or outside the region, are all beneficiaries.

The freedom and security of navigation in the South China Sea is especially important to Asia and surrounding nations, and it is not, and will not be allowed to be obstructed, said Yang.

He also expressed the Chinese side's views, stance and propositions on the situations in the Korean Peninsula, Myanmar, Afghanistan, South Asia, West Asia and North Africa.

On Saturday, Yang also met with Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd. The two sides said they attach great importance to China-Australia relations and they are willing to further raise the bilateral relations to a new level with the opportunity of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between China and Australia.

Source: Xinhua
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