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Wang Yi Attends the China-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers' Meeting

2019-07-31

On July 31, 2019 local time, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the China-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.

Wang Yi said, the world today is undergoing major changes unseen in a century. Factors of instability and uncertainty in the international and regional situation are on the rise, while East Asia, where we live, has maintained social stability and economic development on the whole. The ASEAN and the East Asia regional cooperation platform with the ASEAN as the core have played an indispensable role in this regard. China attaches great importance to the development of China-ASEAN relations. The two sides have always stepped forward hand-in-hand since establishing the dialogue partnership 28 years ago, in particular since the establishment of the strategic partnership 16 years ago. China-ASEAN relations have become a banner leading the East Asia regional cooperation.

Wang Yi noted, China and the ASEAN countries focus on strategic communication, are committed to consolidating political mutual trust and have always respected each other, treated each other equally and constantly enriched the connotation of strategic cooperation. The two sides have been devoted to practical cooperation, mutual benefit and win-win results to bring bilateral economic and trade cooperation to a new height. Both sides have made efforts to jointly build the Belt and Road Initiative, and been devoted to regional comprehensive connectivity to sing aloud the main theme of China-ASEAN cooperation in the new era. China and the ASEAN have attached importance to people-to-people and cultural exchanges, promoted mutual learning among civilizations, advanced people-to-people exchanges and integration, and enhanced mutual understanding, affinity and amity among the peoples. Both sides have advocated multilateralism, promoted economic integration, and propelled regional trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. The two sides have attached great importance to properly handling contradictions and differences, been devoted to maintaining peace and stability, actively advanced the consultations on the Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea, and finished the first round of reading of the COC single draft negotiating text ahead of the schedule, thus demonstrating the firm conviction of regional countries to work together to establish regional rules and maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.

Wang Yi said, China and the ASEAN enjoy broad prospects for cooperation. We should follow the guidance of the China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership Vision 2030, broaden consensus and deepen cooperation, forge a higher level of China-ASEAN strategic partnership and build a closer China-ASEAN community with a shared future. First, both sides should grasp the opportunities of aligning development plans to align the Belt and Road Initiative and Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025. Second, the two sides should seize the opportunities of sustainable development to narrow the development gap within the ASEAN, and help the ASEAN integration. Third, both sides should seize the opportunities of cooperation in innovation to make cooperation in innovation a new growth point for China-ASEAN relations. Fourth, the two sides should grasp the opportunities of deepening security cooperation to strengthen communication and exchanges between defense departments. Fifth, the two sides should grasp the opportunities of deepening people-to-people and cultural exchanges to enhance the original driving force for the continuous development of bilateral relations.

The ASEAN Foreign Ministers expressed their congratulations on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. They said, ASEAN-China dialogue partnership is the most important, vibrant and substantial one in the ASEAN that benefits the ASEAN the most. It has become an important pillar of regional peace and stability and the main driving force for economic growth, making positive contributions to regional peace, stability, development and prosperity. The two sides are committed to promoting cooperation in various fields including political security, economy, society, and people-to-people and cultural engagement, with continuously expanded breadth and depth as well as gratifying results. The ASEAN expressed appreciation for the Chinese side's active participation in regional cooperation in East Asia and hoped that the Chinese side will further participate in the East Asia Summit and the ASEAN Regional Forum and other cooperation mechanisms with the ASEAN as the core. The ASEAN stands ready to align the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 with the Belt and Road Initiative and is committed to completing negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership at an early date, speeding up the COC consultations, and jointly safeguarding multilateralism and free trade as well as regional peace and stability, in a bid to push ASEAN-China relations for greater development.

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