China vows to be a ‘good neigh­bor’

Manila Times - - FRONT PAGE - JEF­FER­SON ANTIPORDA

CHINA on Mon­day as­sured lead­ers of South­east Asia it would be a “good neigh­bor” and that it would use diplo­macy in en­gag­ing with mem­bers of the As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions (Asean).

Speak­ing at the 20th Asean-China sum­mit at the Philip­pine In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­ter, Chi­nese Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang said China re­mained com­mit re­spon­si­bil­ity.”

“China al­ways sees Asean as a pri­or­ity in diplo­macy.

We are com­mit­ted to work with Asean to be good neigh­bor, good friend and good part­ners and will al­ways stand to­gether rain or shine,” Li said.

Li pointed out that Asean-China re­la­tions was the most dy­namic and sub­stan­tive among all di­a­logue part­ners of the bloc, cit­ing two im­por­tant agree­ments: the Treaty of Amity and Co­op­er­a­tion in South­east Asia and the AseanChina Free Trade Agree­ment.

“It is fair to say that friendly re­la­tions be­tween China and Asean is a con­sen- sus of all Asean coun­tries,” Li added.

On Mon­day, Asean and China an­nounced the start of ne­go­ti­a­tions on the code of con­duct (COC) over South China Sea based on a frame­work that was adopted in Au­gust (see story on A1).

“We are pleased to an­nounce that as a next step, Asean mem­ber - mence ne­go­ti­a­tions with China on the COC,” a draft state­ment ob­tained by re­porters said.

AFP/POOL PHOTO

Chi­nese Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang speaks dur­ing the 20th Asean- China Sum­mit, vow­ing that China will be a ‘good neigh­bor’ to South­east Asia.

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