Foreign ministers of 10-member ASEAN met for first time since the Hague ruling on maritime disputes in the South China Sea
Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi met with Burmese State Counselor and foreign minister Aung San Suu Kyi on the sidelines of the ongoing 49th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting (AMM) and Post-Ministerial Conferences (PMC) in Vientiane, Laos on Sunday, both promising to strengthen ties and cooperation.
Wang conveyed Chinese President Xi Jinping’s greetings to Suu Kyi.
He said that China and Myanmar have a deep friendship and maintain understanding, respect, and support for one another.
Wang congratulated Suu Kyi’s new government for keeping an upbeat situation in its first 100 days and wished Myanmar further progress in its development.
Wang expressed China’s goodwill to become a trusted partner of Myanmar in its development progress, saying that China is willing to increase high-level communication and push forward practical cooperation in all fields.
Suu Kyi said that China is Myanmar’s largest friendly neighbour, and the people from two countries share strong links with each other, adding that Myanmar appreciates China’s support and aid in its economic development as well as national reconciliation.
Suu Kyi said she hopes China will continue to give Myanmar support as a good friend of the country. Myanmar is willing to work with China to continue to strengthen their relationship and pass down the traditional friendship between the two nations to later generations, she added.
'Media focus on South China Sea very strange'
Wang during bilateral meetings with ASEAN members on Sunday said he thought the media focus on the South China Sea issue was "very strange".
"You should focus on China-ASEAN cooperation," he said.
Southeast Asian nations failed to agree on maritime disputes in the South China Sea on Sunday after Cambodia blocked any mention to an international court ruling against Beijing in their statement, diplomats said.
Foreign ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) met for the first time since the UN-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration handed an emphatic legal victory to the Philippines in the dispute this month.
The ruling by the court in The Hague denied China's sweeping claims in the strategic seaway, through which more than $5 trillion in global trade passes each year.
China claims most of the sea, but ASEAN members the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei all have rival claims. Beijing says the ruling has no bearing on its rights in the sea, and described the case as a farce.