CHINA / National

China dedicated to peace, stability in S. Asia
Updated: 2006-04-20 19:32

China would make concerted efforts with South Asian countries to promote regional peace and stability, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said here on Thursday.

Hailing the 4-point guidelines granting observer status to China and Japan prepared by the Standing Committee of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) last Tuesday, Qin said at a regular press conference that China would explore new ways for promoting mutual beneficial cooperation so as to seek common prosperity and development with South Asian nations.

This would "unfold a new chapter" in the bilateral relations between China and the SAARC, Qin said.

Noting that China and South Asian countries were friendly neighbors and had extensive common interests in safeguarding regional peace and stability, Qin expressed the wish that all procedures be finalized soon so that China could become a full observer at an early date.

The SAARC Standing Committee decided in principle to grant the Republic of Korea and the United States observer status as well.

The SAARC, which was formed in 1985, consists of seven countries, including Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Pakistan, Nepal and Bhutan.