SINGAPORE, Feb. 8 (ChinaMil) -- The 8th informal meeting of defense ministers from China and member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) convened in Singapore on the afternoon of Feb. 6.
The meeting was co-chaired by Singaporean Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen and the Chinese Defense Minister and State Councilor Chang Wanquan. Singapore now has the ASEAN Chairmanship.
Chang said at the meeting that China is firmly committed to the path of peaceful development, and always takes China-ASEAN relations as priority in its diplomacy with neighboring countries and keeps to be a good neighbor, good friend and good partner of the ASEAN.
In recent years, following the consensus reached between Chinese President Xi Jinping and leaders of ASEAN member states, defense departments of China and ASEAN member states, on the basis of mutual trust and understanding, following the general trend and eliminating interferences, have maintained communications and focused on cooperation, playing an active role in safeguarding regional peace and stability, said Chang.
Chang went on to say that under the wise leadership of President Xi Jinping, socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, as have the relations between China and ASEAN.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the China-ASEAN strategic partnership, also the first year of China's efforts to implement the spirit of the 19th CPC National Congress and the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening up, Chang said.
Chang added that China is ready to work with ASEAN countries to stay true to the original intention of cooperation, enhance confidence in cooperation, target the cores of cooperation, and promote the realization of the blueprints of launching maritime joint drills and anti-terrorist cooperation, making greater contributions to creating a closer China-ASEAN community with shared destiny.
Ng Eng Hen and other ASEAN defense leaders spoke highly of President Xi Jinping's initiative of building the ASEAN-China community with shared destiny, appreciated China's adherence to the path of peaceful development and expressed their willingness, by taking the opportunity of marking the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the ASEAN-China strategic partnership, to keep close communication, strengthen defense exchanges and cooperation, deepen good neighborly friendship and mutual political trust with the Chinese side, so as to safeguard regional security, development and prosperity.