Chinese envoy welcomes Philippines’ ASEAN chairmanship, says China to remain supporter of ASEAN

DAVAO CITY, -- The People's Republic of China will remain a firm ally of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as it welcomed the Philippines taking the leadership of the ten-member group.

This support even extends to the maritime security and cooperation that the ASEAN included in its six thematic priorities.

This was emphasized by Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua in an interview on the sidelines of the launching of the Philippines chairmanship of the ASEAN 2017 being held on Monday afternoon at the SMX Convention Center in this city.

The Chinese envoy said China will always pursue sea disputes by peaceful means and consensus-based between China and ASEAN.

Maritime security and cooperation is the third agenda of the ASEAN that will be pursued this year with the Philippines taking the helm of the organization. The agenda adheres to the rule of law for the peaceful resolution of disputes and the preservation and protection of maritime resources.

Mr. Zhao admitted they like the way how the current administration is treating the arbitral victory of the Philippines on the West Philippines Sea to maintain stability in the area.

The Duterte administration has been pursuing the West Philippine issue through discrete, low-key and face-to-face talks with China.

"I like it very much," he said, stressing on China's respect to the Philippines's position.

Mr. Zhao also welcomed President Rodrigo Duterte's call for non-interference in regional peace and stability.

"We appreciate the ASEAN has been developing the ASEAN way characterized by non-interferenceby doing things by consensus. That also fits our principle," he said.

In his speech at the launching of the Philippines' chairmanship, President Rodrigo Duterte emphasized on the principles stated in the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation including non-interference in promoting regional peace and stability through abiding respect for the rule of law.

Peace and stability was also emphasized as one of the agenda of the ASEAN aiming to uphold peaceful coexistence and regional cooperation among the member states.

The President even called on the ASEAN member states to strive for a region that promotes and maintains peace, security and stability.

He also called on all ASEAN member states to rededicate themselves and commit anew to the principles and purposes behind the establishment of the association's adherence to the rule of law. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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