BEIJING, July 29 -- A new dimension of international relations in Asia is taking shape.
Most of the countries in East and Southeast Asia are on good terms with their neighbours. They are building more trust and co-operation on security.
This is the region where economies grow on the principle of equality and mutual benefit.
The co-operation between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and three East Asian countries - China, Japan and the Republic of Korea - has brought about a sea change in the environment for regional development and sharpened the collective edge. It has delivered tangible benefits to the whole region.
There is still much to be desired from the co-operation. The proposal Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing came up with during the ministerial meeting of ASEAN plus three in Kuala Lumpur this week unveiled the Chinese version of the course of future development.
The 10+3 co-operation is expected to run high next year when they commemorate its 10th anniversary as a turning point.
ASEAN is expected to carry its weight in promoting co-operation among itself and the three East Asian countries. The ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) has been playing a positive role in enhancing trust and promoting co-operation.
China will stand firmly behind and participate in the new 10+3 co-operation areas such as women's affairs, poverty alleviation, rural development, disaster relief and development of mineral resources.
China supports the 10+3 as the main channel for building the East Asia Community, to be completed by the East Asia Summit and other mechanisms.
A major official channel on security dialogue and co-operation in the Asia-Pacific region, ARF has turned out to be a platform where ASEAN nations share an equal footing with the big powers.
Wider co-operation has moved the region closer to the vision of integration.
The notion of building a freer, better regulated pan-East Asian market for goods, services and investment has promising potential.
Foreign Minister Li delivered the Chinese commitment to working with other countries for sound development of the mechanism and security of the Asia-Pacific region.
The bilateral agreements that ASEAN has signed with the big powers will facilitate the regional integration.
The Sino-ASEAN free-trade framework has provided ASEAN with preferential access to China's growing market.
Moreover, the region enjoys a security safeguard because ASEAN signed the Treaty of Amity and Co-operation in Southeast Asia with all countries in the Asia-Pacific region except the United States. Hopefully, the commitment will free the region from use of force for settling their disputes.
(Source: China Daily)