Foreign minister calls for tranquility

Updated: 2016-06-14 10:06

By ZHANG YUNBI and LI XINYI in Yuxi, Yunnan province(

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Foreign Minister Wang Yi says China and the 10 ASEAN countries should "cherish the hard-won peace" in the region, and that they "cannot allow any single force to disturb the tranquility of this shared home".

Amid high interest in the South China Sea situation, Wang made the statements when he addressed a welcoming dinner on Monday for senior diplomats attending the Special China-ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting on Tuesday, in Yuxi, Yunnan province.

"We should cherish the great outcomes achieved through cooperation and cannot allow any issue to disturb the big picture of our cooperation, " Wang said.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the dialogue between China and the ASEAN.

Wang said parties should "cherish the historic opportunity for the development and prosperity of China and the ASEAN countries" and that they "cannot allow anything to interrupt their development process".

The senior Chinese diplomat noted that while 25 years may be a brief moment in the history of all mankind and Asia, major changes have still taken place over that period in the relationship between China and the ASEAN.

"China and all the ASEAN countries are connected through land and sea, and they are permanent neighbors that cannot be set apart. Thus, we should be friends and partners forever, which should be the only correct and common choice," Wang said.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Monday that at the Tuesday gathering, Beijing would be ready for discussions about how to further promote and upgrade China-ASEAN cooperation and about "jointly ensuring the peace and stability in the South China Sea".

He says the expected meeting is "a special one that adds up to the annual regular meetings between China and the ASEAN", and it shows "emphasis and expectations from both sides upon advancing China-ASEAN cooperation".