BEIJING, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- As this year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of dialogue relations between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the two sides should join hands to open up a new era of cooperation, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Tuesday.
Wang made the remarks as he attended the China-ASEAN foreign ministers' meeting via video link.
ASEAN enjoys a priority position within China's neighborhood diplomacy, said Wang, adding that new and important progress has been made in the friendly cooperation between the two sides.
Noting that China regards ASEAN as its primary partner in the fight against COVID-19, Wang said China has provided more than 190 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the 10 ASEAN countries so far, along with other anti-COVID-19 supplies.
Regarding the trade and investment cooperation between China and ASEAN, Wang stressed that in the first half of this year, the bilateral trade exceeded 410 billion U.S. dollars, up 38.2 percent year on year. ASEAN remains China's largest trading partner, and their cumulative investment exceeding 310 billion U.S. dollars.
Wang stressed continuing anti-pandemic cooperation. China will try its best to meet the ASEAN need in vaccines and other anti-pandemic materials. China stands ready to work with ASEAN countries to firmly oppose politicizing scientific issues, resolutely resist the ravages of the "political virus," and ensure the smooth and healthy development of international anti-pandemic cooperation.
He called for cooperation in vigorously promoting economic recovery. China would like to work with ASEAN to implement the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework, and forge their all-round recovery cooperation with trade and investment cooperation as the basis and with the digital economy and green development as new growth points.
Wang stressed consolidating the existing regional cooperation framework. China firmly supports ASEAN centrality in regional cooperation and ASEAN's greater role in international and regional issues, said Wang, adding that China does not approve or participate in any cooperation mechanism that undermines ASEAN centrality.
He called for maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea. China will continue to honor its commitments regarding the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC). China stresses the peaceful settlement of disputes by countries directly concerned through consultation and negotiation, refraining from unilateral actions that aggravate tensions and widen differences, and deepening practical maritime cooperation.
The ASEAN foreign ministers said that China is a rational, wise and reliable force, and it does not fear any power as it seeks to safeguard international fairness and justice, adding that China's development will bring new and greater opportunities for all ASEAN countries.
They said that ASEAN is willing to promote regional economic integration and jointly safeguard peace, stability and security in the South China Sea to promote regional development and prosperity with China. Enditem