Interview: China firmly supports ASEAN's development, committed to forging healthy China-ASEAN relationship: vice FM
                 English.news.cn | 2014-06-10 00:12:42 | Editor: yan

YANGON, June 9 (Xinhua) -- China will firmly support ASEAN's development, its community building and centrality in regional cooperation, and is also committed to growing a healthy, stable and dynamic China-ASEAN relationship, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin told a joint interview here Monday.

"No matter what changes may take place in the international landscape and how China and ASEAN develop, China will always take ASEAN as a priority in its neighborhood diplomacy," said Liu.

"This is not only the shared interest of China and ASEAN, but also conducive to regional peace, stability and prosperity," he said.

Liu is here to attend senior official meetings for the ASEAN plus China, Japan and South Korea (ASEAN+3) cooperation mechanism, East Asian Summit and ASEAN Regional Forum.

Denying some suspicion, worry and even misunderstanding over China's rapid growth, Liu assured that China remains a peaceful country and friendly neighbor as ever before, saying that China's development brings benefit and opportunities to ASEAN countries rather than threat, which has been proved by the growth of China- ASEAN relations during the past two decades.

"China will continue to uphold the principles of mutual respect, equality and win-win cooperation for common development with ASEAN countries," he said.

On settling problems when arising naturally between neighbors, Liu called for patience, continued building and expanding of consensus and finding proper solution, however, he warned that " some individual country's attempts to ruin China-ASEAN relations with these disputes will end nowhere and are unwelcomed by most ASEAN countries."

"Interference by countries outside the region will not help solve the problems but only make them more complicated and aggravated," he further warned.

On Myanmar's assumption of ASEAN chair, Liu expressed belief that Myanmar will continue to play an effective role in communication and coordination, so that ASEAN will uphold a fair and objective position on relevant issues.

He also expressed the belief that Myanmar will continue to work with China to move forward China-ASEAN strategic partnership and maintain peace and stability of the region.

Regarding the initiative of "2+7 Cooperation Framework" put forth by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the China-ASEAN Summit last October and raised by Xinhua, Liu said China is working with ASEAN countries at present to discuss the signing of a treaty of good- neighborliness, friendship and cooperation between China and ASEAN countries, launching of negotiation to upgrade the China-ASEAN FTA, establishment of an Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and development of a 21st century maritime Silk Road.

In addition, China has invited defense ministers of ASEAN countries to come to China for a special ministerial meeting some time next year and launch programs to celebrate the 2014 China- ASEAN Cultural Exchange Year, he added.

Emphasizing that China-ASEAN relations are important pillars for East Asia cooperation, Liu called for advancing the development of regional cooperation framework, consolidating the role of ASEAN+3 as the main vehicles and continuing to leverage the role of East Asia Summit as a "leaders-led" strategic forum.

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