JAKARTA, July 14 (APD) – China called on Southeast Asian regional bloc ASEAN to mutually deepen cooperation towards closely-knitted relations so as to attain goals of shared destiny community in the two economies.
The call was conveyed by Chinese Ambassador to ASEAN Xu Bu in his remarks to address a seminar entitled ‘ASEAN at 50: A New Chapter for ASEAN-China Relations’ held here.
“We should seize the opportunities and waste no time to move our relations onto a higher plane,” the ambassador said in part of events to observe 50th ASEAN Anniversary here on Friday.
The deepening cooperation was highly expected as the two economies would see 15 years of strategic partnership next year, he added.
Xu pointed out that the two economies should combine their strengths and potentialities in a bid to synergize China’s Belt and Road Initiative and ASEAN Vision 2025 in the future.
Based on win-win scheme, it can be manifested by giving more focus on cooperation on connectivity and production capacity sectors, promoting trade and investment, and practicing the upgraded China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (CAFTA) protocol, Xu said.
“China is also ready to promote and support the growth of sub-regional frameworks such as the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation and the East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) so as to assist the efforts to reduce development gaps among ASEAN countries,” Xu said.
Dialogues to settle regional issues, respecting each other’s concerns and national condition were also part of efforts that need to be prioritized to improve the strategic partnership between the two, the ambassador added.
In other part, Ambassador Xu Bu said that close relations between China and ASEAN communities serves as a key element to address strategic partnership between the two.
“To make our community closely knows each other, China and ASEAN need to enhance cooperation on cultural, science, technology, environmental protection, tourism sectors and intensify the exchanges between youths, media organizations, think tanks and local provinces,” he said.
Praising Ambassador Xu Bu’s remarks ASEAN Deputy Secretary General for Community and Corporate Affairs AKP Mochtan said that enhancing China-ASEAN community contacts was a bright idea as it would create good foundation towards synergizing the goals of Belt and Road Initiative and ASEAN Vision 2025.
“Excellent Community-to-Community contact will would lead to a civilization based on shared destiny community,” Mochtan said in his turn to deliver remarks in the seminar.
ASEAN embraced China as its dialogue partner in 1991 and forged a strategic partnership in 2003 The two economies have settled the upgrade of CAFTA, the largest free trade pact in developing countries, last year.
China has been ASEAN’s biggest trading partner for eight consecutive years while ASEAN was China’s third largest trading partner in six consecutive years.
Two-way trade was recorded at 452.2 billion U.S.
Dollars last year, 56 times higher than in 1991.
Two-way investment in aggregate has grown over 355 times bigger, from 500 million U.S. Dollars in 1991 to 177.9 billion U.S. Dollars in 2016.
(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)
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