The Hanoitimes – China will follow the dual-track approach agreed to by China and most ASEAN countries, peacefully and properly handle disputes left from history and jointly maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Saturday.
Wang made the remarks at a panel discussion about the building of ASEAN community, with observers and former officials from Southeast Asia, at the annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia in Hainan province.
China for the first time identified the approach in August, according to which specific disputes are to be solved through negotiations and consultations by countries directly concerned, and peace and stability in the region be jointly upheld by China and ASEAN countries working together.
Wang’s remarks came amid eased tension regarding overlapping territorial claims in parts of the South China Sea between China and some ASEAN nations.
The meeting also came shortly before the China-ASEAN 13th Joint Working Group Meeting on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, which is scheduled to be held in Myanmar from March 30 to 31.
Officials and experts from all participating countries also will meet to discuss navigation security, joint maritime search and rescue and other fields of practical cooperation, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Thursday in Beijing.
Qin Yaqing, president of China Foreign Affairs University, said at the panel discussion that it is rational for China to propose the dual-track approach, and China has made its stance very clear that peaceful negotiation is the solution.
Wang also hailed the great cooperation potential between China and the ASEAN countries, saying the region is the top destination for Chinese high-quality and abundant production capacity that is going global.
China will explore the possibility of building more industrial parks in ASEAN countries and help them upgrade industry and tap development potential, he added.
China has been the top trading partner of ASEAN for five consecutive years and ASEAN have been China’s third largest trading partner for four years.
Two-way trade volume surpassed $480 billion in 2014, and the number is expected to reach $500 billion this year, and $1 trillion in 2020.