Commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of China-ASEAN Dialogue Relations

READERS' VIEWS - The Freeman

On November 22, President Xi Jinping attended and chaired the Special Summit to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of China-ASEAN Dialogue Relations in Beijing via video link, and delivered an important speech entitled "For a Shared Future and Our Common Home". China and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) formally announced the establishment of a China-ASEAN Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, setting a new milestone in the history of bilateral relations.

For 30 years, ASEAN has been a close neighbor and important cooperative partner of China. Since the establishment of dialogue relations in 1991, China-ASEAN relations have achieved leapfrog development and remarkable achievements. The two sides took the lead in establishing a strategic partnership and the first to build a free trade zone. Cooperation in various fields deepened, and they have always led the East Asian regional cooperation. The China-ASEAN relationship is the most successful and dynamic model in the Asia-Pacific region and has become an important pillar of regional peace, stability, development and prosperity.

Over the past 30 years, the exchanges and cooperation between the two sides in various fields have continued to deepen. In 2019, more than 65 million people exchanged between the two sides, and there were nearly 4,500 flights between China and Southeast Asian countries every week. China-ASEAN trade has grown from 8.36 billion U.S. dollars in 1991 to 685.28 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, and has become each other's largest trading partners. In the past 30 years, in the face of common challenges, the two sides have watched and helped each other and worked hand in hand to overcome a series of major crises such as the Asian financial crisis, SARS, avian flu, and the international financial crisis. In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, the two sides have done their best to help each other and set a model for international cooperation in the fight against the epidemic.

In the past 30 years, under the situation of profound changes in the international landscape, China-ASEAN relations have withstood various tests and cooperation has been fruitful. This brought tangible benefits to the people of all countries in the region, and making positive contributions to regional and world peace, stability and prosperity, and becoming a model of regional cooperation in the region.

Over the past 30 years, from dialogue relations, consultation partners, comprehensive dialogue partners, strategic partners to comprehensive strategic partners, China-ASEAN cooperation has become an important pillar for maintaining regional peace and stability and promoting development and prosperity.

The world today is in an era of turbulent changes, challenges and opportunities. With the new situation and a new starting point, how can China and ASEAN continue to advance the construction of a comprehensive strategic partnership to better benefit the more than 2 billion people in this region? The new positioning of China-ASEAN comprehensive strategic partnership is undoubtedly of great and far-reaching significance for the long-term, healthy and stable development of China-ASEAN relations. On this basis, upgrading the relationship between the two parties is a matter of course and just in time.

President Xi Jinping used "homeland" as a metaphor, and proposed five suggestions on the future development of China-ASEAN relations: to build a peaceful home; build a safe and secure home; build a prosperous home; build a beautiful home; and build an amicable home. This shows that China and ASEAN are big families linked by mountains and rivers and share a common destiny. They are good neighbors, good friends, and good partners who are friendly to each other, help each other, live in safety, and help each other in the same boat.

China unswervingly takes ASEAN as the priority direction of its neighboring diplomacy. It unswervingly supports ASEAN unity and the building of the ASEAN community, unswervingly supports ASEAN’s central position in the regional structure, and unswervingly supports ASEAN’s greater role in regional and international affairs.

China is willing to work with ASEAN to grasp the general trend, eliminate interference, share opportunities, and create prosperity together. It is willing to implement the comprehensive strategic partnership and take new steps towards building a closer China-ASEAN community of shared future.

By Jia Li

Consul General of the People's Republic of China in Cebu


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