Vientiane, July 24 (ANI
): Asserting that Beijing supports the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in playing a central role in regional cooperation, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said the country opposes outside intervention in regional affairs, especially from the big powers.
Liu said the Asian nations must be mindful that regional cooperation should not be obstructed by differences between countries in the region.
"They should particular guard against the intervention in regional cooperation by big powers outside the region," Xinhua quoted Liu as saying.
Liu, who was speaking on the sidelines of the ASEAN Plus Three senior officials meeting yesterday, warned that such a move would harm regional solidarity and integration.
Talking about the South China Sea issue judgment issued by an adhoc tribunal on July 12, he said that it did not give a practical solution to the issue, adding both the Philippines and China still need negotiations and communications to resolve their maritime disputes.
He hoped that the ASEAN nations and China could jointly implement the declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea adopted in 2002.
Liu urged the Foreign Ministers' to focus on regional cooperation instead of instigating differences between countries during their upcoming meeting.
"It is normal that differences exist between countries. China has been seeking to solve differences and disputes with other countries through negotiations over the past six decades," he said.
The ASEAN Plus One (with dialogue partners), ASEAN Plus Three (China
, South Korea and Japan), East Asia Summit and ASEAN Regional Forum are cooperation mechanisms centered on ASEAN said Liu.
"Cooperation in East Asia has greatly improved social and economic development in the region over the past 25 years," he said ahead of an ASEAN foreign ministers' meeting set to open today. (ANI