China emphasizes regional engagement on peace, economic security

China emphasized that it would concentrate on working for peace and economic security in the East Asian region, a top Chinese official said on the sidelines of the 21st ASEAN summit on Tuesday.

China’s Deputy Foreign Minister Fu Ying told media that the stability of the Association of South East Asian Nations was crucial to the stability of Asia and this was acknowledged during Premier Wen Jiabao’s address at the East Asia Summit.

She also said that in line with China’s respect for stability it would not “over-emphasize” the territorial issues over the South China Sea.

“China’s stance on the South China Sea has been consistent,” Fu said pointing out that the island stand-off with Japan was only China defending its sovereignty and “doing what was necessary.”

“China as a continental and maritime nation attaches great importance to the freedom of navigation and security of the South China Sea. China has always promoted good neighborliness and dedicated itself to promoting peace and security in the region,” she added.

Referring to the Code of Conduct Fu noted that Premier Wen Jiabao had told the ASEAN leaders that China had agreed on the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) to not internationalize the sea dispute.

“Premier Wen Jiabao stressed that China is ready to implement the DOC in a comprehensive manner and have worked with ASEAN members to maintain cooperation. Finally is emphasized that China would continue to support peace and stability in the region.”

U.S. President Barrack Obama was also present at the East Asia Summit where Wen delivered his remarks.

Xinhua