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Island disputes cannot affect China-ASEAN ties

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-08-29 21:59

BEIJING - Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Thursday said controversy on the Nansha Islands sovereignty will not  affect relations between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The dispute is not between China and the ASEAN, Wang said at a press briefing following a special meeting of foreign ministers from China and ASEAN countries.

China and ASEAN are fully capable of safeguarding peace and stability in the South China Sea, Wang said, stressing that the common interests of China and ASEAN should not be affected by private interests.

One member's opinion is not the overall stance of AESAN, he said.

The freedom of navigation in the South China Sea has not been and won't be a problem, the minister said, calling on all sides to nurture peace and stability in the region.

The main topic of the meeting was strengthening China-ASEAN cooperation and trust, Wang said, adding the meeting also touched on the South China Sea.

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