China and ASEAN have blazed the right path of forging long-term good-neighborliness while achieving common development and prosperity, Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Wang Yi said here on Thursday.
The senior Chinese diplomat made the remarks while attending the ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, introducing the achievements of all-round expansion of mutually beneficial cooperation between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
He said over the past 20 years, China and ASEAN have actively implemented the purposes and principles of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, and expanded mutually beneficial cooperation on all fronts.
First, both sides have worked together on building a community with a shared future. China and ASEAN have helped each other, shared development opportunities, and overcome the challenge of the pandemic, Wang said. China has reached important consensus with Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia on jointly building a community with a shared future.
Second, the joint construction of the Belt and Road has seen landmark projects completed, including the opening of Cambodia’s Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway, the launch of cross-border passenger services between China and ASEAN on the China-Laos Railway, and the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor which has opened a golden channel for trans-regional cooperation, bringing tangible benefits to more than 2 billion people, Wang said.
Third, both sides have joined efforts to promote regional economic integration. Trade volume between China and ASEAN, which are eath other’s largest trading partner, is expected to exceed 1 trillion U.S. dollars this year, Wang said.
He highlighted efforts in negotiating version 3.0 of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area and implementing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, with both sides firmly advocating free trade and open markets.
Fourth, both sides have worked together to consolidate the foundation of peace and stability. Wang noted that China actively participates in and firmly supports the ASEAN-centered regional cooperation architecture, and supports its continued development in an open and inclusive manner without interference.
China welcomes the completion of the second reading of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) text, and stands ready to continue to play a constructive role in its early conclusion, he said.