Premier Wen Jiabao said East Asian countries should focus on their co-operation and not be distracted by 'all sorts of interference', amid recent US moves to contest rising Chinese power in the region. After Wen arrived in the Indonesian resort of Bali yesterday for a series of high-level meetings with the region's leaders, Xinhua reported that he and Indonesian President Dr Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono agreed that the summits should not focus on disputed political and security issues. 'As the world is facing complex and challenging political and economic situations, the upcoming meetings of East Asian leaders should give priority to solidarity, development and co-operation,' it quoted Wen as saying, referring to summits between members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, China, Japan and South Korea. Tension over the South China Sea, in which China, Vietnam, the Philippines and several other countries hold claims, has been heightened in the past few months. The US said it would discuss the disputes at the summit, but Beijing wants the matter reserved for bilateral consultations. Wen also said the East Asia Summit, to include the US for the first time, should stick to contributing to the region's economic development and peaceful co-operation. Xinhua issued a strongly worded commentary warning of adverse consequences if the US 'plays with fire'. It said Asian countries did not need a 'leader' or 'arbitrator' but a partner that treats them equally and with sincerity. Wen is expected to meet Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the summits today. Zhang Jiuhuan, a former ambassador, expected Wen and Obama to discuss US involvement in the region. 'Countries in the region are concerned about whether the US's participation will have a positive impact or not,' Zhang said.