China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Tuesday pledged joint efforts to safeguard regional peace.
The pledge was made at the 12th China-ASEAN Defense Ministers' Informal Meeting, held via video link. The event was co-chaired by Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe and Brunei's Second Minister of Defense Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof.
Brunei holds the rotating chair of ASEAN this year.
Noting that this year marks the 30th anniversary of China-ASEAN dialogue partnership, Wei said the defense departments of both sides should provide support for pushing the China-ASEAN strategic partnership to a higher level.
China is ready to strengthen cooperation with ASEAN countries in the field of national defense and military development, and continue to actively provide vaccines and other materials to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, he added.
On the South China Sea issue, Wei said the relevant parties should build consensus, manage differences, and advance cooperation to jointly uphold peace and stability in the South China Sea.
ASEAN defense leaders spoke highly of the development of ASEAN-China relations and appreciated China's assistance in fighting COVID-19.
They expressed the willingness to work with China to better safeguard regional peace, stability, prosperity and development.