Premier Li Keqiang (front) attends the 16th China-ASEAN leaders' meeting in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, Oct 9, 2013. [Photo by Liu Jiansheng/Xinhua]
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN -- Premier Li Keqiang put forward a seven-point proposal on further broadening and deepening cooperation between his country and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The China-ASEAN relations have grown to maturity and the bilateral cooperation has got on the fast track, Li said at the 16th China-ASEAN leaders’ meeting in the Bruneian capital.
He pointed out that the basis for advancing cooperation is to strengthen strategic trust and consolidate good-neighborliness, and the key to deepening cooperation is to focus on economic development and expand mutual benefit.
China and the 10-member bloc should seize opportunities and push forward their broad, deep, high-level and all-dimensional cooperation, said the Chinese premier, who also raised a seven-pronged proposal on the framework of bilateral cooperation in the coming 10 years.
First, the two sides should discuss the signing of a treaty on good-neighborliness, friendship and cooperation to provide legal and institutional safeguards for bilateral strategic cooperation to move further forward, he said.
Second, the two sides need to beef up security exchanges and cooperation, he said, adding that they should not only improve the China-ASEAN defense ministers’ meeting mechanism but strengthen cooperation in such non-traditional areas as disaster prevention and relief, cyber-security and joint law enforcement.
Third, the two sides should launch negotiations on upgrading their free trade area and strive to bring bilateral trade to $1 trillion by 2020 so as to allow ASEAN countries to benefit more from regional integration and China’s economic growth, he added.
Fourth, China and ASEAN need to speed up the construction of inter-connectivity infrastructure, he proposed, calling for concerted efforts to set up an Asian infrastructure investment bank as a platform for financing intra-ASEAN and regional inter-connectivity projects.