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China hopes for cooperation regarding South China Sea issue: spokesman

(People's Daily Online)

08:29, July 11, 2012

Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin held a regular press briefing on July 10. (File photo/ Foreign Ministry of China)

BEIJING, July 10 (People's Daily Online) -- China hopes to maintain "positive and cooperative momentum" regarding the South China Sea, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Tuesday.

"China does not want efforts to safeguard the peace and stability of the South China Sea to be disturbed or damaged," spokesman Liu Weimin told a regular press briefing.

Liu made the remarks in response to a question about discussions of the South China Sea issue at the 45th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting (AMM), which kicked off on Monday in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

China has always supported the building of the ASEAN community, as well as ASEAN's leading role in east Asia cooperation, Liu said, adding that China is committed to conducting mutually beneficial cooperation with ASEAN nations.

"We hope the ASEAN foreign ministers meeting will bring about positive results," he said.

During a China-ASEAN senior officials' meeting on Sunday, China and ASEAN countries agreed to carry out the "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea" (DOC) in a comprehensive and effective manner, as well as carry out cooperative projects under the DOC framework with the purpose of upholding peace and stability in the South China Sea, said Liu.

He stressed that the AMM is an important platform for enhancing mutual trust and cooperation between concerned countries, but not a proper venue for discussing the South China Sea issue.

Hyping the South China Sea issue is actually to ignore the consensus of countries in the region to promote development and cooperation, he said, noting that the hype aims to damage China's relations with the ASEAN.

Liu said China has maintained smooth and effective communication with relevant countries on the South China Sea issue and is ready to settle disputes with concerned parties through dialogue and consultations.

In response to a reporter's question on the U.S. hope for the AMM to notice the South China Sea issue, Liu said the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region is in the common interest of China and the United States. He said that China is willing to work with the United States to jointly commit to peace and stability in the region.

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