Diplomats benefit from Beijing’s sincerity
As diplomats strode the red carpet at Laos’ landmark— the spacious National Convention Center in the capital Vientiane— hurrying to meetings, they benefited from China’s courtesy.
The center forms part of China’s aid to Laos. Chinese workers completed its construction in only 10 months in 2012, well in time for the AsiaEuropeMeeting held there that year.
This year, the venue hosted a range of annual meetings from Sunday to Tuesday involving foreign ministers from all 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and their international counterparts, such as those from China, Japan, the United States and the European Union.
The meetings— held in a variety of groupings, such as 10+1, 10+3 and 10+8— looked to boost cooperation or handle hot spot issues at a venue that is a showcase for China’s sincerity in aiding neighbors who seek economic growth and better infrastructure.
The interest shown in hearing China’s voices and opinions could perhaps best be illustrated by a photographer I met on Sunday night.
The man, aged about 30, entered the room hosting talks between the foreign ministers of China and the Republic of Korea with a huge bandage on his forehead.
He had apparently received a significant wound near his eyebrow. “It (the meeting) is too important,” he said when I asked why he came despite the wound.
Indeed, even journalists who are not from China or the ROKtracked Beijing’s responses and positions to the ongoing US-ROK plan to deploy the THAADanti-missile system on theKorean Peninsula.
Not to mention the media attention to the South China Sea issue. And manymay have observed the ASEAN ministers’ meetings did not antagonize China in their joint statements as had been expected by some governments and media in theWest.
As the saying goes, “Still waters run deep.” China’s efforts to boost peace and regional development, including its aid to build the center, are like still waters.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi (front center) and US Secretary of State John Kerry (back right) join counterparts on the sidelines of the ASEAN meeting.