MANILA — China and ASEAN nations on Sunday expressed satisfaction with the achievements made in their strategic partnership during the last 15 years and agreed to further enhance cooperation.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his counterparts from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) made the pledge at a meeting in Manila.
Wang congratulated ASEAN for its 50th anniversary, saying China is happy for ASEAN’s development and achievements while expressing best wishes for ASEAN’s better and faster development in the next 50 years.
As an important regional organization, ASEAN has become a major force in promoting regional integration and maintaining regional peace and stability, Wang said.
China has always taken ASEAN as a priority in its foreign diplomacy and has always supported ASEAN in taking a central role in regional cooperation and a bigger role in dealing with international and regional affairs, Wang said.
As China and ASEAN celebrate the 15th anniversary of strategic partnership next year, both sides are also facing a critical point to bring the ties to a higher level, Wang said, calling for future actions to build a higher level China-ASEAN strategic partnership and a closer community of common destiny of China and ASEAN.
Wang outlined a seven-point proposal on future China-ASEAN cooperation put forward by the Chinese side.
First, to formulate a 2030 Vision for China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership as a blueprint to guide future relations.
Second, to synergize the Belt and Road Initiative and the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity, and further expand the scope and dimension for bilateral cooperation.
Third, to designate 2018 as China-ASEAN Year of Innovation, give full play to the complementarity of innovation-driven development of China and innovation-driven growth of ASEAN, and launch the upgrading of China-ASEAN cooperation.
Fourth, to accelerate the implementation of the outcomes on upgrading China-ASEAN Free Trade Area and jointly safeguard the global free trade regime.
Fifth, to fully implement the China-ASEAN Joint Statement on Production Capacity Cooperation and boost each other’s industrialization process.
Sixth, to build new pillars for people-to-people exchanges and cooperation, ensure the success of the China-ASEAN Tourism Cooperation Year, and issue a joint statement on tourism cooperation so as to consolidate public support and social foundation for bilateral relations.
Seventh, to expedite negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and lead the process of regional integration together.
Foreign ministers of ASEAN nations congratulated China on the success of the recent Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, thanked China for its support on ASEAN’s community building, recognized the positive progress of ASEAN-China ties in the past year and agreed with the depth and achievements of the China-ASEAN relations.
The foreign ministers also expressed the anticipation that as China and ASEAN celebrate the 15th anniversary of the establishment of strategic partnership next year, the two sides would strengthen strategic synergy, deepen cooperation in economy, trade, innovation, connectivity, tourism and other areas so as to bring the strategic partnership to a new level.
On the South China Sea disputes, the foreign ministers fully acknowledged the positive momentum in the past year, welcomed the approval of the framework of the Code of Conduct (COC), and looked forward to further consultations on the COC under the framework of a full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC).
Before the meeting, 10+1 foreign ministers also signed the amended version of the Memorandum of Understanding on Establishing China-ASEAN Center.