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Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui Meets on Video with Second Permanent Secretary of Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Stanley Loh

2020/11/04

On November 4, 2020, Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui met on video with Stanley Loh, Second Permanent Secretary of Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Singapore's Senior Official for ASEAN. Both sides exchanged views on the preparations for the East Asian leaders' meetings on cooperation.

Luo Zhaohui said that Singapore is an important member of ASEAN and China appreciates its contributions to China-ASEAN relations and East Asia cooperation. China stands ready to work closely with Singapore to hold the East Asian leaders' meetings on cooperation in the next week and push the regional cooperation to a new height.

Luo Zhaohui added that the strong second wave of COVID-19 is coming along with grave economic downturn. US's Indo-Pacific strategy and the Quad of US, Japan, India and Australia are interrupting East Asia cooperation and threatening ASEAN Centrality. Under such a context, the meeting this year should attach greater importance to unity, development and cooperation. The first priority is to combat the pandemic. China will further deepen its cooperation with ASEAN to this regard, including co-developing vaccine, building a community of common health and joining hands to cope with transnational, non-traditional security threats including public health. The second priority is economic recovery. Economic growth has long been a priority of the regional cooperation. China is fostering a new development paradigm with domestic circulation as the mainstay and domestic and international circulations reinforcing each other, so as to create opportunities for the economic recovery of ASEAN countries. Against the pandemic, both sides should secure stable industrial chains and supply chains to bring local economy back to the fast lane. The third priority is to safeguard multilateralism, oppose unilateralism and bullying, reject Cold War mentality and zero-sum game, and speed up regional integration. The fourth priority is to support ASEAN centrality in regional cooperation, uphold the effective principles such as consensus through consultation, accommodating the comfort level of all parties and keeping disputes away from multilateral scenarios, and ensure the overwhelming trend of East Asia cooperation. The fifth priority is to prudently settle disagreements. We should dispel interruptions, prudently settle South China Sea issue pursuant to the "dual-track" approach, fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, continue the negotiation on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC), and side by side secure the regional peace and stability. Luo Zhaohui also exchanged views with his counterpart on the outcome document of the meetings.

Stanley Loh highly commended ASEAN-China relations and China's long commitment to boosting ASEAN-China relations and the regional cooperation. He said Singapore will work side-by-side with China and relevant countries to hold the East Asian leaders' meetings on cooperation in the next week, fight against the pandemic, boost economic recovery, and conclude the negotiation on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership as soon as possible, secure the WTO-centric and rule-based multilateral trading regime, prudently cope with sensitive issues such as South China Sea and Indo-Pacific issues, expedite the negotiation on COC and promote the stable development and prosperity of the region.

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