China has urged members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations not to be a bystander or "a tool of major powers" to cope with the new challenges in the current global political and economic atmosphere.
"ASEAN should exercise its independent judgment to move this region forward. If ASEAN takes sides, it would lose its relevance," Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Fu Ying told The Nation in an exclusive interview over the weekend.
"ASEAN has an important role to play with its tried-and-true ASEAN Way, as major powers are shaping their new relations in the region." She said relations with ASEAN countries are of "unquestionable priority" for China. China will continue to support ASEAN's "centrality" in East Asian cooperation, she said.
Asked about the United States' decision to "rebalance" its forces in Asia and the Pacific, Fu said: "China has no problem accepting the US presence and its positive influence in the Asia Pacific. We welcome a constructive US role in regional affairs." She noted, however, that there is growing concern from media and academics in China over the heavy US emphasis on security in the region.
Read Full Article HERE