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China to align Belt and Road with ASEAN’s development strategies

Updated: Aug 6,2015 10:27 AM     Xinhua

KUALA LUMPUR — Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Aug 5 that China is willing to align its “One Belt, One Road” initiative with ASEAN countries’ respective development strategies.

During the China-ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held in Kuala Lumpur, Wang said that geographically close to each other, China and the ASEAN are good friends.

As special dialogue partners, the two sides are backbones in safeguarding regional peace, stability and development, he said, adding that China-ASEAN cooperation is the main platform for China to participate in regional cooperation.

Wang said that with joint efforts of the two sides, China-ASEAN relationship is continuously moving forward, with substantial development achieved in the preparation for the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), positive achievements in a series of initiatives like Free Trade Zone upgrade and smooth implementation of ”the Year of China-ASEAN Maritime Cooperation.”

Wang said that China regards ASEAN as a priority in China’s diplomatic policy with neighboring countries, a key region for constructing “21st Century Maritime Silk Road” and an important partner in building the new-type international relations featuring win-win cooperation.

Our fundamental interest is to accelerate development, our utmost common need is to maintain stability and our biggest common wish is to deepen cooperation, Wang said, adding that China will as always resolutely support the construction of ASEAN Community, back up ASEAN’s leading role in regional cooperation and support ASEAN to play a positive role in international and regional affairs.

China is willing to align China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative with ASEAN countries’ respective development strategies and the construction blueprint of ASEAN Community in order to provide new impetus and create new prospects for China-ASEAN cooperation and growth, the foreign minister said.

In the process of building a closer community of common destiny with ASEAN and pushing forward China-ASEAN”2+7”cooperation framework, Wang put forward 10 new proposals on further deepening China-ASEAN cooperation.

The hard-won peace in the South China Sea is the result of China and ASEAN’s joint efforts and China and ASEAN nations have the will and wisdom and are capable of manage and control differences, build consensus, maintain stability and safeguard peace in the region, according to Wang.

All parties in and outside the region are responsible and obliged to support the efforts made by China and ASEAN countries, he said while proposing three initiatives to maintain peace, stability of South China Sea.

The first initiative is that countries in the South China Sea pledge to implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in a comprehensive, effective and complete way, accelerate consultations on formulating a Code of Conduct (COC) for the South China Sea and actively discuss “ precautionary measures for maritime risk management and control.”

Second, countries outside the region pledge to support the above-mentioned efforts by countries in the region, and do not take actions that may cause tension and complexity in the region.

Third, countries pledge to exercise and safeguard their freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea in accordance with international law, the foreign minister noted.

ASEAN foreign ministers agreed at the meeting that the China- ASEAN partnership is the most positive and fruitful relations among ASEAN’s relations with its partners, and ASEAN highly appreciates China’s contributions on boosting China-ASEAN relations, as well as the Chinese side’s 10 new proposals on deepening China-ASEAN ties.

ASEAN attaches great importance to the China-ASEAN strategic cooperation partnership and is willing to work with China on the construction of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, enhance connectivity and boost the construction of China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, they said, adding that ASEAN would also like to deepen cooperation with China in such sectors as investment, production capacity, education, technologies, public health and people-to- people exchanges.

ASEAN member states spoke highly of Wang’s three initiatives to maintain peace, stability of South China Sea, as well as the positive progress achieved at the senior officials’ meeting in Tianjin, China on the implementation of the DOC and formulation of the COC.

ASEAN is willing to work with China on the implementation of the DOC and enhance consultation on the COC so as to build the South China Sea into a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation, according to the foreign ministers.