BEIJING: The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) should stay clear of any power rivalry between big countries, China’s Foreign Minister Qin Gang said on Tuesday (Mar 7).
At an annual parliament meeting in Beijing, Qin also said that ASEAN cannot be an agent of any external force.
The foreign minister was responding to a question about how countries in the region have felt great pressure, with some media suggesting that as China’s economy faces growing downward pressure, regional countries are finding it increasingly difficult to rely on the US for security guarantees, and on China for economic development.
He said that the Indo-Pacific strategy by the United States is an attempt to form “exclusive cliques” that hurts the interests of regional countries, adding that any attempt to encircle China is bound to fail.
“It will only lead to impact on the ASEAN-centered, open and inclusive regional cooperation architecture, and will undermine the overall and long-term interests of regional countries.”
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