Philippine FM lauds China's role in region, criticizes meddling from outsiders

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/8/9 19:53:39



China has played "a very positive role in the (Southeast Asian) region," Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said on Tuesday.

He said China's strong economy has fueled growth in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region.


"Definitely China will be a better driver for a socio-economic development in the region," Cayetano told a news conference at the end of the series of ASEAN and related foreign ministers' meetings that kicked off Saturday. "I can honestly say that the relationship of ASEAN and China has improved and been strengthened over this ministerial meetings," the Philippine foreign secretary said.


Addressing a question regarding a joint statement issued by Australia, Japan and the US a day before that said the dispute should be addressed based on last year's international tribunal's ruling, Cayetano said, "We are a sovereign  nation. We will decide what is good for us and what strategy is good for us."


Foreign ministers of China and ASEAN approved a framework of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea on Sunday. At the press conference, Cayetano stressed the need to maintain stability in the region by focusing on positive development, adding that there is now relative peace in the South China Sea.


"We are not pro-China, pro-US, pro-Japan, or pro-whatever. We are pro-Philippines and more pro-ASEAN," Cayetano said, "We will appreciate not being told what to do."



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