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Foreign Minister Wang Yi Attends China-ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting Stressing China Regards Developing Friendly Cooperation with ASEAN as Priority of Its Relations with Neighbouring Countries

On June 30, 2013, the China-ASEAN (10+1) Foreign Ministers' Meeting was held in Bandar Seri Begawan, capital of Brunei. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the meeting.

Wang Yi said this year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of strategic partnership between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). China-ASEAN relationship has achieved the leap-forward development, exceeded the scope of bilateral relations and become the important driving force of East Asia's development and the indispensable pillar for regional stability and prosperity.

Wang Yi stressed that the new Chinese leadership places great importance on relations with ASEAN and regards developing friendly cooperation with ASEAN as priority of its relations with neighbouring countries. China will continue to consolidate and deepen its strategic partnership with ASEAN and try to properly handle issues with some ASEAN countries through friendly consultation. As long as the two sides trust each other, increase communication and clear away disturbances, China-ASEAN relations will have a better prospect and yield more fruitful results.

Wang Yi raised seven aspects for a proposal to deepen China-ASEAN strategic partnership. First, to step up strategic communication and to well organize China-ASEAN Leaders' Meeting, Special Foreign Ministers' Meeting, Senior Officials' Forums, China-ASEAN Expo and other events. Second, to accelerate economic integration, to further expand commodity trade, to considerably uplift the level of investment and service trade, to build up an "upgraded version" of China-ASEAN free trade area. Third, to push forward cooperation in regional connectivity, to set up Asia-wide platform for investment and financing in infrastructure. Fourth, to increase maritime cooperation and make good use of the China-ASEAN Maritime Cooperation Fund. Fifth, to step up cooperation in defense and security, to achieve the goals of common security, collective security and cooperative security, to support regular meetings of the defense ministers from the two sides. Sixth, to expand people-to-people exchanges, and set 2014 as the "Year of China-ASEAN Cultural Exchanges". Seventh, to strengthen coordination and cooperation in international and regional affairs, to join the efforts for a healthy development of regional cooperation in Asia, particularly in East Asia, and to protect the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries.

ASEAN countries spoke highly the substantial progress made in ASEAN-China relations and thanked China for the firm support, saying that ASEAN-China cooperation is of crucial importance to regional peace, stability and prosperity. ASEAN countries view their relations with China from a strategic perspective, appreciate the proposals of China on cooperation, and wish to strengthen dialogue, enhance mutual trust and deepen cooperation with China, to promote common development, jointly tackle the challenges and push forward East Asia cooperation.

On the issue of South China Sea, the two sides agreed that China and AEAN should continue to be committed to maintaining peace and stability of the South China Sea, to work for full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), and, in the process of implementing the DOC, to maintain communication, to build up common ground, to clear away disturbances, to strengthen cooperation and steadily move forward the process of Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) on the basis of consensus. All parties agreed to hold the 6th Senior Officials' Meeting and the 9th Joint Working Group on the implementation of the DOC in China in September this year.

The two sides issued a joint press release on the China-ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting with the fields and projects for cooperation in the future listed.

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