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Wang Yi Talks about How China Views Joint Communiqué of ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting
2017-08-08

On August 7, 2017 local time, Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the briefing for Chinese and foreign media held after the series of Foreign Ministers' Meeting on East Asia Cooperation in Manila, the Philippines.

When making a response to reporters' question on how China views the Joint Communiqué of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting issued on the evening of August 6, Wang Yi stated that the Joint Communiqué is a comprehensive document which fully describes the important progress made in China-ASEAN relations and demonstrates the confidence of all parties in the prospects for China-ASEAN relations in a very striking part. China has put forward seven major initiatives for the future development of China-ASEAN relations, all of which have won the approval and recognition of the ASEAN countries. These include jointly formulating a "2030 Vision for China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership" and so on, and all of them are fully embodied in the Joint Communiqué.

Wang Yi expressed that some media may be concerned about the statement of the South China Sea in the Joint Communiqué of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting. There is a statement on this issue in the Joint Communiqué every year, yet this year some differences have been presented. First, the length of descriptions is much shorter than that of the past. Second, the ten ASEAN countries all fully affirmed the results of cooperation with China and the stable situation in the South China Sea. They also fully affirmed to develop and approve the "Code of Conduct in the South China Sea" (COC) framework with China and made clear to take an active attitude of promoting the specific drafts in the next step.

Wang Yi said that perhaps some media friends would wonder why there are still descriptions of "sea-filling for land-reclamation" in the Joint Communiqué. I would like to tell you that the Joint Communiqué of this year makes it quite clear in this part. However, still "some foreign ministers" expressed concerns about the "sea-filling for land-reclamation", indicating that there is no consensus of all ASEAN countries. In fact, one or two countries expressed this kind of concern and what I would like to inform everyone is that China has completed our land-filling two years ago. Thus, if such phenomenon of sea-filling for land-reclamation still exists, it will never happen in China.

Wang Yi said that the statement on "non-militarization" in the Communiqué is not the same as the past either. This year, it is about "all countries", including the restraint of both the inner-domain and the areas outside the domain. All of us can have a thought on this matter: Among all countries, which one is the most powerful and the most dynamic to show its military power in the region? I think the answer is known to all.

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