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Philippine FM lauds China's positive role in Southeast Asia

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-08-09 09:17

Philippine FM lauds China's positive role in Southeast Asia

Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano speaks during the grand celebration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Manila, the Philippines, Aug 8, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

MANILA - 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.

At the ASEAN foreign ministers' meeting, the 10 ASEAN ministers commended the "growing role" of China in the region.

In a joint communique, the ministers also stressed the need for more economic integration between ASEAN and China and the need to have more "high-level" dialogues and exchanges.

"We acknowledged China's growing role in the region and highlighted that China's economic growth continues to benefit the region," the ministers said.

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.

Foreign ministers of China and ASEAN approved a framework of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea here on Sunday.

"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.

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