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THE NATION: Minister sees Chin
- Subject: THE NATION: Minister sees Chin
- From: suriya@xxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Sun, 17 May 1998 07:56:00
Minister sees China as
aforce for peace, stability
THAILAND yesterday dismissed fears that
China's influence in Burma and Cambodia
would be ''divisive'' for the region.
''I do not share these concerns,'' Deputy
Foreign Minister M R Sukhumbhand
Paripatra told participants of the sixth
Southeast Asia-China Dialogue.
He said China would continue to be a force
for peace and stability in Southeast Asia.
Some have expressed concern that China
has become too closely aligned with Burma
and Cambodia and that ''these alignments
would be divisive for the region. Military
cooperation with the former is often cited
as a concrete source of apprehension'', he
Three dozen academics representing
strategic and security think-tanks from
China and Asean members meet to
discuss economic and political issues
related to Asean and China and their future
Sukhumbhand said China understood that
its strategic interests were best served not
by undertaking geopolitical manoeuvres
which could only bring short-term benefits
but by promoting peace, stability and
goodwill on its periphery in the longer term.
The minister also expressed confidence
that China had the requisite political will
and sense of enlightened self-interest to
resolve the two outstanding issues --
Taiwan and the South China Sea --
involving itself directly in a peaceful manner.
China, he said, has played an exemplary
role in the Asian financial crisis, constantly
demonstrating readiness to share
responsibility in coping with the situation.
Apart from contributing financial assistance
to the IMF rescue package for Thailand,
China said it would not devalue its currency
and was willing to increase trade with and
investment in Asean countries.