Visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sunday exchanged views on the Myanmar issue with Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn.
They met on the sidelines of the seventh Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) Foreign Ministers' Meeting to be held on July 4 in Bagan, Myanmar.
Prak Sokhonn, also the special envoy of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for Myanmar, briefed Wang on his visit to Myanmar. Wang spoke highly of the positive role Cambodia, the ASEAN chair for 2022, has played in mediating the Myanmar issue and expounded on China's stance in this regard.
Wang said China expects to make joint efforts with the ASEAN for political reconciliation in Myanmar within the framework of the constitution and laws. It encourages all political parties in the country to look at the larger picture and prioritize the interests of the people, taking rational and pragmatic measures to stabilize the situation and realize peace at an early date, he said.
China hopes to work with the ASEAN to help Myanmar restart its democratic transition process and explore a path of political development with Myanmar's own characteristics, he added.
Wang urged ASEAN to stick to the "ASEAN way", uphold the basic principle of non-interference in others' internal affairs, constructively implement the five-point consensus reached by ASEAN leaders, and safeguard ASEAN's overall unity and its leading role.
On bilateral ties
Wang and Prak Sokhonn also pledged to enhance ties and cooperation in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and other fields.
While praising the all-around cooperation between China and Cambodia for being at the forefront of China's relations with other countries in the region, Wang said China is willing to work with Cambodia to solidify the China-Cambodia community with a shared future and to celebrate the 65th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties in 2023 with more visible results.
As a close strategic partner, China will continue to stand firmly with Cambodia and support its political stability and economic development, he added.
For his part, Prak Sokhonn said Cambodia regards highly the China-proposed Global Development Initiative (GDI) and Global Security Initiative (GSI), and believes they will make significant contribution to global peace and development.
Describing the bilateral comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership as strong, Prak Sokhonn said Cambodia will continue to firmly adhere to the one-China policy and support China's stance on issues concerning Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang.
During the meeting, both sides pledged to continuously advance the synergy between the BRI and Cambodia's development strategy, and achieve progress in related economic and infrastructure projects.
They also agreed to continue cooperation in fields including anti-pandemic, agriculture, environmental protection, technology and people-to-people exchanges.
Wang said China will deliver the remaining 15 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in time according to the needs of the Cambodian side, provide other anti-epidemic supplies at an early date, expand the export of Cambodian rice to China, and increase direct flights between the two countries.
On China-ASEAN ties
The two sides also held an in-depth discussion on China's relations with the ASEAN.
Wang called for upholding ASEAN's centrality to preserve strategic independence, maintain multilateralism and take hold of the leading power over regional security.
The two sides should uphold the orientation of win-win cooperation to fully implement the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and launch the building of Version 3.0 China-ASEAN Free Trade Area at an early date, so as to add more certainty and positive energy to regional peace, stability and development, he noted.
Wang stressed that both sides should handle sensitive issues properly to maintain mutually beneficial cooperation, oppose initiating antagonism of camps and division in this region, and resist any attempt to turn the East Asia cooperation platform into a "wrestling ground" for major-country rivals.
Prak Sokhonn said Cambodia opposes any external forces compelling regional countries to take sides and pushing for zero-sum mentality and geopolitical rivalry.
Cambodia is willing to work with China to safeguard peace, stability and prosperity of this region, the Cambodian foreign minister said.
The two sides also exchanged views on issues related to the South China Sea and the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation.