China, ASEAN enter new era of deeper strategic partnership
Updated : Thursday, December 27, 2018 9:38 AM (GMT+0700)

The year 2018 marks the15th anniversary of the establishment of strategic partnershipbetween China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) featuredwith political trust, mutual respect and win-win cooperation.

 
The flag of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) - Photo: AFP

The two sides have pledged to further develop their relationsto a new high by adopting the China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership Vision 2030last month, which is widely seen as a role model for cooperation in theAsia-Pacific region, the Xinhua NewsAgency reported.

In 2003, China and ASEAN decided to establish their strategicpartnership, opening up a new chapter in the bilateral relations. Over the past15 years, the partnership has endured a changing international landscape andtheỉ cooperation has continued to deliver real benefits to the countries andthe peoples of the region.

China and ASEAN are firmly committed to good-neighborlinessand friendship while enhancing political and security ties to create stabilityacross the Asia-Pacific. Under this partnership, the two sides have properlymanaged sensitive issues and disputes through dialogue and negotiation in orderto keep their relationship on track.

China and ASEAN have promoted trade and investmentliberalisation, an approach that has provided the backbone and engine for developmentand prosperity in the region.

The China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (FTA), the largest regionalFTA in the world in terms of population, went into effect in 2010, removingtariffs on more than 90 percent of goods traded between China and 10 ASEANmembers, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, thePhilippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Moreover, an updated FTA was hammered out late in 2015,further facilitating trade, scaling up bilateral investment and encouragingtechnological cooperation.

China and ASEAN are now working together to speed upnegotiations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), aproposed free trade area made up of the 10 ASEAN member states and its six FTApartners - China, Australia, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and NewZealand, in order to further facilitate trade and investment in the region.

Based on the principle of collaboration, China and ASEAN haveworked to align the former's Belt and Road Initiative with the latter's developmentplans. Connectivity projects include the China-Laos Railway, the China-Thailandhigh-speed railway, and Indonesia's Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway.

China and ASEAN have also advocated people-to-peopleexchanges and mutual learning among their different and numerous civilizations.Ties have rapidly developed in the areas of culture, education, tourism, media,science and technology, environmental protection, disaster relief, povertyreduction and youth, among others.

China and ASEAN adopted last month a blueprint to furtheradvance their strategic partnership and forge wider mutual beneficialcooperation so as to build a closer China-ASEAN community with a shared future.

The vision is a new cooperation framework between China andASEAN, underpinned by the three pillars of political and security cooperation,economic cooperation and people-to-people exchange, and supported bycooperation in mutually-agreed areas.

As the backbone and engine for promoting development andprosperity in the region, China and ASEAN hailed the continued strong growth inbilateral trade, investment and tourism flows.

The two sides have pledged to intensify efforts to meet thejoint target of 1 trillion USD in trade and 150 billion USD in investment by2020 through deepening economic linkages and improving connectivity with an eyeon more fruitful results in trade and investment by 2030.

They also remained committed to intensifying efforts tofinalize negotiations for a modern, comprehensive, high-quality and mutually-beneficialRCEP agreement, boosting physical and institutional connectivity to bringmarkets closer together, deepening financial cooperation, enhancing dialogueand exchanges in maritime economic cooperation, engaging in the process ofeconomic globalization and facilitating further economic integration, amongothers.

Source: VNA

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