Chinese FM Wang aims above regional rows (2)

By Zhou Wa (China Daily)

16:30, August 05, 2013

At the opening ceremony of the High-Level Forum on the 10th Anniversary of China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership held in Bangkok on Friday, Wang called on ASEAN countries to join hands with China to further deepen and enrich their cooperation.

He told officials of ASEAN countries at the forum that relations with ASEAN have always topped China's diplomatic agenda and now is the key moment to make new progress in relations, following 10 years of strategic partnership.

Meeting with Surukiat Sathirathai, chairman of the Asia Peace Reconciliation Council and Thailand's former deputy prime minister, Wang proposed three ways to solve the South China Sea disputes, emphasizing the importance of joint exploitation of mineral resources.

"It takes time to find a final solution to the South China Sea disputes," said Wang. "Until then, the parties concerned should search for means of joint exploitation on a win-win and mutually beneficial basis," Wang said.

"Joint exploitation of mineral resources is not only for economic reasons. It will also send signals to other parts of the world that countries in the region are willing to solve their disputes in the way of cooperation," he added.

Jia from the CIIS echoed this view, saying, "Joint exploitation can bring economic benefits to all players and it also has larger political and security implications, since it helps to maintain peace and stability in the region."

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