China on Thursday said that India’s move to invite ASEAN leaders on the 69th Republic Day will help maintain peace, stability and the development of the region. “We hope all countries can work together for peace, stability and development of the region,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a press conference when asked about the gathering of ASEAN leaders to attend the Republic Day function.
“We can all play a constructive role in this regard,” she said in response to media reports that the Indian move to invite these leaders was aimed at blunting China’s influence. “I want to say that on the Indian side, India media is not very confident and they do not trust us,” she said.
India is holding a two-day India-ASEAN Commemorative Summit which is expected to give boost to the cooperation in key areas of counter-terrorism, security and connectivity amidst increasing Chinese economic and military assertiveness in the region.
In an unprecedented event, all the 10 ASEAN leaders will also be the chief guests at the Republic Day parade. The highest-level of participation at the summit is to mark the 25 years of Indo-ASEAN ties.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) comprises Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, Laos and Brunei.