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China Supports ASEAN's Leading Role in East Asia Cooperation

China supports the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to remain the driving force behind the efforts to promote cooperation among East Asian countries, a senior Chinese diplomat said in Kuala Lumpur Wednesday.

Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei, who heads the Chinese delegation to the Senior Officials' Meeting for the 11th ASEAN Summit and related summits, made the remarks while meeting with Malaysian Foreign Ministry Secretary-General Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak. He stressed that is a stance China has always been upholding.

Wu exchanged views with Razak over the preparatory work for the ASEAN Summit and the inaugural East Asia Summit, and expressed appreciation over Malaysia's efforts for the events.

Malaysia will host the 11th ASEAN Summit and related summits from December 12 to 14. The ASEAN Summit is an annual meeting held on a rotational basis by the country which holds the chairmanship of the ASEAN Standing Committee.

The related Summits that are to be held include the 9th ASEAN + 3 Summit, 9th ASEAN + China Summit, 9th ASEAN + Japan Summit, 9th ASEAN + Republic of Korea Summit, 4th ASEAN + India Summit, and the first ASEAN + Russia Summit.

The highlight of these high-level meetings will be the staging of the First East Asia Summit (EAS) on December 14, which gathers not only leaders from ASEAN countries, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, but also those from Australia, China, India,Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.

According to a member of the Chinese delegation, all preparatory work for the ASEAN summit, including the drafting of the ASEAN declaration, has been completed, and discussions for a declaration to be issued on the EAS are also underway.

The 11th ASEAN Summit began with the Senior Official's Meeting on December 7, which will be followed with the Ministerial Meeting from December 9 to 11.

(Xinhua News Agency December 8, 2005)

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