|Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Chang Wanquan (R, front) attends the China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Defense Ministers' Consultative Meeting in Bandar Seri Begawan, capital of Brunei, on May 7, 2013. (Xinhua/Lo Ping Fai)|
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, May 7 (Xinhua)-- The defense ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) gathered here on Tuesday to discuss measures and actions to further cement defense and security cooperation in the 10-nation bloc.
Under the theme "Securing Our People, Our Future Together," the seventh ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM) aims to boost mutual trust and confidence through increased understanding of defense and security challenges as well as enhancement of transparency and openness.
The three-day meeting emphasized ASEAN members' role in its community building process and highlighted the importance of people-centered ASEAN as its looks forward to the future.
In his opening address, Brunei's Energy Minister Haji Mohammad Yasmin, who is also the chairman of the ADMM, called for closer collaboration to develop joint efforts at bilateral and multilateral level to confront challenges and to maintain a stable environment for continued progress and prosperity in the region.
Yasmin also commended the establishment of an open dialogue platform with ASEAN partners especially within the framework of the ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting-Plus.
The seventh ADMM meeting came on the heel of the 22nd ASEAN Summit in April which underlined the target to realize the ASEAN Community by 2015.
The ADMM, since it inception in Kula Lumpur, Malaysia in 2006, is the highest defense mechanism within ASEAN.
ASEAN groups Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Chang Wanquan has arrived for ASEAN-China Defense Ministers' Consultative Meeting on Tuesday afternoon and a series of bilateral meetings.