Senior Chinese diplomat elaborates on win-win cooperation, South China Sea issue

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Sun Weidong led a delegation to Laos to attend senior officials' meetings of the ASEAN-China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, from June 7 to June 8.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Sun Weidong led a delegation to Laos to attend senior officials' meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-China, Japan, the Republic of Korea (ROK), as well as the East Asia Summit and the ASEAN Regional Forum from June 7 to June 8.

Sun told media after the meetings that the participants exchanged views on such issues as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the Ukraine crisis, the Korean Peninsula, Myanmar, climate change, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence.

The Chinese side elaborated its principled positions on relevant issues and sternly refuted fallacies of the United States and the West concerning China, Sun said.

He said that ASEAN, China, Japan and ROK positively evaluated progress in the implementation of the 10+3 cooperation work plan (2023-2027), were supportive of deepening cooperation in finance, food security, electric vehicles, digital economy, green economy, society and culture, as well as high-quality implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and enhancement of regional supply chain connectivity.

All sides generally support the role of the East Asia Summit in promoting political security and economic development, boosting constructive dialogues and exchanges, and expanding cooperation in emerging fields, Sun said.

He added that the forum is the most important platform for multilateral security dialogue and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, and members emphasized the need to continue to promote confidence-building measures, deepen practical cooperation, and steadily carry out preventive diplomacy, contributing to lasting peace in the region.

He went on to say that at the meetings, China emphasized the Asia-Pacific was pacesetter of peaceful development, and supported the centrality of ASEAN, supported ASEAN's approach to regional security cooperation, supported the settlement of differences and disputes by peaceful means, and called for the establishment of security concept of equality and cooperation.

The Chinese side reiterated that it adheres to the principles of consensus and accommodating the comfort level of all parties, enriches the topics of cooperation, and actively responds to emerging challenges such as cybersecurity, climate change and artificial intelligence, so as to safeguard common security interests, Sun said.

China clearly supports an ASEAN-centered regional security architecture, adheres to the concept of openness and win-win cooperation, takes into account the demands of all parties, accommodates the interests of all parties, and builds a balanced, effective and sustainable regional security architecture, instead of starting things anew and creating a closed and exclusive club, the Chinese diplomat said.

On the South China Sea issue, he said that the biggest security challenge in the South China Sea comes from outside the region, and external forces led by the United States, for geopolitical purposes, have manipulated bloc politics and confrontation of camps, pushed forward military deployments and operations in the South China Sea, instigated the intensification of differences and contradictions related to the sea, and undermined the legitimate rights and interests of littoral countries.

Sun said China has indisputable sovereignty over islands in the South China Sea, and is committed to properly managing disputes through dialogue and consultation with countries concerned in the South China Sea in accordance with the "dual-track" approach.

China is also working with ASEAN countries to comprehensively and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), and actively pushing for new progress in consultations on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea, according to Sun.

With regard to the deployment of intermediate-range missile system by the United States in the region, Sun said that such a move has drawn the region into an arms race and placed the entire Asia-Pacific region under the shadow of geopolitical conflicts, seriously reversing the course of history, jeopardizing security of regional countries, and seriously undermining regional peace and stability.

He said that China firmly opposes Cold War mentality and confrontation of camps, ignition of an arms race in the region by any external forces, and use of regional countries as tools of hegemony and geostrategic pawns.

He said that ASEAN and other participants hoped for peace, dialogue and unity, and called for mutually beneficial cooperation and common development, safeguarding hard-won peace and stability in East Asia.

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