(ECNS) - The adoption of the ASEAN-China Joint Statement helps promote the purposes and principles of the Treaty and carry forward the Asian way and wisdom and contributes to practicing true multilateralism and upholding the rules and order in the region, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at a press conference on Monday.
Mao made these remarks when asked to comment on the ASEAN-China Joint Statement on Commemorating and Reflecting on the 20th Anniversary of China’s Accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia adopted at the ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on July 13.
Mao said that China’s accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia in 2003 marks a new phase of relations between China and ASEAN.
“Being the first to join the Treaty is consistent with China’s diplomatic tradition of treating all countries, big or small, as equals, and China’s firm support for the growth of ASEAN, as well as our long-standing policy of cultivating friendly ties with neighboring countries,” Mao added.
Mao pointed out that rooted in Asia’s history and culture, the Treaty embodies the Asian way of consensus-building, non-interference in others’ internal affairs, and accommodation of each party’s comfort level, and provides important guidelines for the relations between countries in the region.
“Over the past 20 years, China and ASEAN have, in the spirit of the Treaty, expanded mutually beneficial cooperation on all fronts. We have pursued the right path of long-standing good-neighborliness and friendship and common development and prosperity. This has also galvanized the accession of other countries to the Treaty,” Mao said.
According to Mao, the increasing trend of ASEAN’s dialogue partners and international stature and influence of the group have helped East Asia become the fastest-growing economy in the world with fast-rising living standards.