|Wang Yi: To Build a Higher Level of China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership|
On August 6, 2017 local time, Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the Foreign Ministers' Meeting between China and ASEAN (10+1) held in Manila, the Philippines.
Wang Yi congratulated the ASEAN on its 50th anniversary of establishment, saying that the ASEAN, as an important regional organization in Southeast Asia, has grown steadily and become a representative force to promote regional integration and maintain regional peace and stability. China has always regarded the ASEAN as a priority in its diplomacy with neighboring countries and is pleased with the development achievements of the ASEAN. He wishes the ASEAN to achieve better and faster growth in the next 50 years. China will, as always, firmly support the construction of the ASEAN community, support the ASEAN's central position in regional cooperation and back up the ASEAN in playing a greater role in international and regional affairs.
Wang Yi pointed out that China and the ASEAN are close neighbors linked by mountains and rivers and sharing cultural affinity, and are also good partners with close coordination and common development. In recent years, China and the ASEAN have enjoyed increasingly close relations, more solid political mutual trust and stronger desire to develop dialogue and cooperation. China-ASEAN relations have become one of the most dynamic relationships of ASEAN dialogue partnership, and are abundant with connotation. Next year will be the 15th anniversary of the establishment of strategic partnership between China and the ASEAN and the relations between the two sides are in the key nodes of improving and upgrading. Therefore, the two sides should seize the opportunity to build a higher level of China-ASEAN strategic partnership and build a more closely-related China-ASEAN community of shared destiny.
China's proposal mainly focuses on the following seven aspects: First, we should develop the "2030 vision for China-ASEAN strategic partnership" and jointly plan the blueprint of bilateral relations. Second, we should strengthen the docking between the "Belt and Road" initiative and the ASEAN connectivity planning, solidly propel the infrastructure connectivity construction, and further expand the areas and space of cooperation. Third, we should designate 2018 as "China-ASEAN Year of Innovation" and initiate the mutual promotion of China's innovation-driven development and the ASEAN's innovation-driven growth as well as launch the improvement and upgrade of China-ASEAN relations. Fourth, we should speed up the implementation of the outcomes on upgrading China-ASEAN Free Trade Area and maintain the global free trade system. Fifth, we should comprehensively implement the Joint Statement between China and ASEAN on Production Capacity Cooperation issued at the leaders' meeting last year and boost each other's industrialization process . Sixth, we should build a new pillar of people-to-people and cultural exchanges and cooperation, effectively run the China-ASEAN tourism cooperation year and education exchange week, strengthen exchanges and cooperation in fields such as culture, youth and media and consolidate public opinion and social foundations of the development of bilateral relations. Seventh, we should jointly lead the process of regional integration, accelerate the negotiation on regional comprehensive partnership agreements, and promote new and substantive achievements in sub-regional cooperation through the Lancang-Mekong cooperation and the mechanism of East ASEAN Growth Area.
Foreign Ministers of ASEAN countries congratulated China on its successful organization of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in their speeches, delivered thanks to China for the support on the construction of the ASEAN community and fully affirmed the positive progress made in the development of China-ASEAN relations over the past year. It's believed that China-ASEAN relations have gained rich connotations and significant achievements. Next year marks the 15th anniversary of the establishment of China-ASEAN strategic partnership and all ASEAN countries expect to take this as an opportunity to further strengthen the integration of development strategies, and deepen exchanges and cooperation in such fields as economy, trade, innovation, connectivity and tourism so as to elevate ASEAN-China strategic partnership to a new level.
Foreign Ministers affirmed the positive progress made on the South China Sea issue over the past year, welcomed the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) framework reached by China and ASEAN countries and looked forward to advancing the COC negotiations under the framework of comprehensive and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the South China Sea, jointly safeguarding regional peace and stability and promoting regional development and prosperity.
Before the Foreign Ministers' Meeting between China and ASEAN (10+1), Wang Yi and ten Foreign Ministers of the ASEAN signed a revised version of Memorandum of Understanding on Establishing the ASEAN-China Centre.