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China satisfied with relations with ASEAN, situation in South China Sea 'stabilized remarkably': FM

2017-08-06 18:40:00 (Beijing Time)         Chinadaily.com.cn

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MANILA -- China is satisfied with the achievements in relations between China and ASEAN and the situation in the South China Sea has "stabilized remarkably" in the past year, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here Sunday.

Wang made the remarks while meeting with his Lao and Brunei counterparts separately on the sidelines of a series of ASEAN foreign ministers' meetings in Manila.

China and ASEAN countries agreed on a framework of the Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea before schedule, and it indicates China and ASEAN countries are confident, capable and wise enough to manage divergences and maintain regional peace and stability, Wang told Lao Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith.

Wang said he hoped key achievements made in China-ASEAN relations, including the South China Sea issue, in the past year, can be demonstrated objectively in the foreign ministers' meetings held here.

In the past year, China and Laos have cooperated closely and overcome interference to push ahead bilateral relations and China-ASEAN relations, Wang said.

He called Laos a friendly and close neighbor of China, saying the two countries have always understood, trusted and supported each other and China is willing to support Laos in speeding up development, boosting national power and improving people's livelihood.

Saleumxay said China and Laos have been long-term strategic partners, maintaining frequent contacts on high levels and Laos appreciates China for its assistance and support in Laos' development.

Both ASEAN and Laos consider China as an important partner and are committed to strengthening cooperation with China, the Lao minister said.

In his meeting with Brunei's Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Lim Jock Seng, Wang Yi said China is satisfied with the important achievements in relations between China and ASEAN.

"With joint efforts, China and ASEAN have reached an agreement on the framework of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea ahead of scheduled time, and this has won positive evaluations from the international community," Wang said.

The situation in the South China Sea has achieved a positive change and important progress has been made in the past year, Wang stressed.

Wang pointed out that China and Brunei are enjoying very good relations with both sides understanding each other and supporting each other.

Lim said Brunei and ASEAN attach great importance to developing relations with China, adding that a good relationship between China and ASEAN is essential to peace and development in the region.

Lim said Brunei and ASEAN are very happy with the agreement on the framework of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea, saying this important development is conducive to enhancing the confidence of regional countries to safeguard peace in the region.