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ASEAN-China defense ministers’ meeting held in Myanmar

Updated: May 21,2014 11:52 AM     Xinhua

State Councilor and Minister of National Defense Chang Wanquan (R front) and Myanmar Defense Minister Lieutenant-General Wai Lwin (L front) attend the 4th ASEAN-China Defense Ministers Informal Meeting in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar’s capital, May 20, 2014. [Xinhua]

The 4th ASEAN-China Defense Ministers Informal Meeting was held in Myanmar’s capital Nay Pyi Taw Tuesday, gathering visiting State Councilor and Minister of National Defense Chang Wanquan, defense leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and official of the ASEAN Secretariat.

The meeting was chaired by Myanmar Defense Minister Lieutenant- General Wai Lwin.

Wai Lwin said China is an important force leading the region’s economic development and maintaining the region’s peace and stability. It is the most important dialogue partner of ASEAN.

The meeting of ASEAN-China defense ministers would have positive impact on strengthening strategic mutual trust between the two sides and boosting practical cooperation, he added.

Chang said China’s advocation of a new security concept featuring common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security measures would bring about development and cooperation opportunity to the region.

Regarding the issue of South China Sea, Chang stressed that China commits to settling dispute through negotiation and coordination on the basis of respecting historical facts and international laws.

Internationalizing and multipolarizing the issue would not help bring solution to the issue, but only be counterproductive to the process, Chang said.

China unshakably pursues a path of peaceful development, and its resolve to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity, security and development interest is also unshakable, he said.

To deepen ASEAN-China defense and security cooperation, the Chinese side has invited ASEAN defense ministers for a special meeting in China in 2015, suggested launching consultations on establishing ASEAN-China direct telephone defense communication and strengthening ASEAN-China defense policy and academic communications, Chang said.

ASEAN defense leaders welcomed Chang’s proposals for enhancing practical cooperation in the defense sector and expressed willingness to maintain communication and coordination, strengthen exchange and cooperation with the Chinese side to jointly safeguard peace and stability in the region.

ASEAN-China defense ministers’ meeting takes place annually in alternate ASEAN chair country since it started in 2011.