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Chinese defense minister holds bilateral talks with ASEAN counterparts on ties


16:36, May 08, 2013

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, May 8 (Xinhua) --- Visiting Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Chang Wanquan on Wednesday exchanged views bilaterally with his counterparts from six countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on bilateral relations and on a broad range of issues of mutual concern.

During separate talks with defense ministers from Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines, Chang said China attaches great importance to promoting friendly and cooperative relationship of mutual benefit with related countries and is willing to join hands with them in tapping development potential and boosting the sound and comprehensive development of bilateral ties in various areas at all levels.

Chang noted that China would continue the momentum of deepening the defense and strategic consultation and dialogue with relevant countries, expanding practical cooperation, enhancing multilateral defense coordination and cooperation so as to play an active role in advancing China's relations with other countries.

The Chinese defense minister reiterated that China pursues the policy of maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea and of seeking peaceful solutions through bilateral negotiation and consultations between the directly concerned sovereign states.

For their part, the defense ministers said they appreciated China's adherence to the path of peaceful development and believe that China's development provides renewed opportunity for regional stability and prosperity. They are looking forward to broadening practical defense exchanges and cooperation with China to jointly contribute to regional peace and prosperity, the ministers added.

Chang is on an official visit to Brunei to consolidate relations and cooperation with ASEAN members. He will conclude his trip on Thursday.

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