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US deliberately stirs up trouble in S. China Sea: Chinese vice FM

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US deliberately stirs up trouble in S. China Sea Chinese vice FMChinese vice foreign minister Luo Zhaohui said the US deliberately stirred up trouble in the South China Sea and stands in the way of peace and stability in regions, calling on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to work together with China to safeguard regional peace, stability and promote free trade and multilateralism.

Luo made the remarks at a meeting Friday in Beijing with envoys of the 10 members of ASEAN to China, according to an article posted on the website of Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is raging on, downward pressure on the global economy is mounting and unilateral bullying is rife, the US' all-round suppression of China has a negative impact on regional and world stability, Luo said.

In response to the situation, China and ASEAN should make a joint effort to promote the foreign ministers' meetings to send a message of unity, cooperation and development, Luo noted.

The article said the next stage of East Asia's cooperation should focus on four points.

To properly manage divergences is one of the points. China is working with ASEAN countries to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), continue to advance consultations on the Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea, and jointly safeguard peace and stability in the area.

However, the US has deliberately stirred up the situation by advancing its Indo-Pacific Strategy and introducing a new policy concerning the South China Sea to deter China, destabilize the region and force ASEAN countries to choose sides between China and the US, which goes against the will of regional countries to maintain peace and stability.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in July said China's maritime claims over the South China Sea were "completely unlawful." In the first half of this year alone, US military aircraft flew than 2,000 missions in the region.

The other three points in regard to the cooperation between China and ASEAN are: to further strengthen cooperation in fighting against the pandemic, a through pursuit of economic recovery, and formulate a plan for next year's work.

Since COVID-19 broke out worldwide, China and ASEAN countries have conducted sound cooperation at the bilateral and multilateral levels. After China's COVID-19 vaccine is developed and put into use, it will be made an accessible and affordable global public good. China is ready to strengthen cooperation with ASEAN on vaccines and in other fields.

Against the backdrop of the pandemic, China-ASEAN trade and investment have both seen an upturn against the downtrend. The article said in the first half of this year, China-ASEAN trade reached nearly $300 billion, up 5.6 percent year-on-year, making ASEAN China's largest trading partner for the first time. "We should maintain this good trend and continue to advance practical economic and trade cooperation," said the article.

Next year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the China-ASEAN dialogue relations. China hopes to take the opportunity to review its experience with ASEAN, draw on past experience, and deepen and expand all-round cooperation for the benefit of the countries and people in the region.

The 10 members of ASEAN said that maintaining regional peace and stability is the common aspiration of all countries. ASEAN is ready to work with China to properly manage disputes in the South China Sea and other issues through dialogue and consultation.

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