BEIJING — Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said on Aug 31 that China’s ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are entering the “period of maturity.”
Premier Li Keqiang will attend the 19th China-ASEAN (10+1) leaders’ meeting, the 19th ASEAN-China, Japan and Republic of Korea (10+3) leaders’ meeting, and the 11th East Asia Summit in Vientiane, Laos, from Sept 6 to 9, Liu told a news briefing.
Premier Li will also pay an official visit to Laos.
Liu said the Premier’s upcoming visits will help deepen China-ASEAN relations, promote the integration of East Asia and maintain regional peace and stability.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of dialogue relations between China and ASEAN, Liu said, and developing ties with ASEAN is a priority of China’s peripheral diplomacy.
He said the two sides have deepened political mutual trust and achieved fruitful results in practical cooperation such as the new China-ASEAN free trade area agreement.
Moreover, China is the largest trading partner of ASEAN, and ASEAN is China’s third largest trade partner, Liu said, adding that bilateral trade volume in the first half of 2016 reached $209 billion.
He said Premier Li will suggest making people-to-people exchanges a new pillar for China-ASEAN cooperation, and will stress China’s constant support for ASEAN common community building as well as a bigger role for ASEAN in international affairs at the China-ASEAN leaders’ meeting.
At the ASEAN-China, Japan and ROK leaders’ meeting, Premier Li will urge all parties to enhance cooperation in areas such as financial security, trade and investment, agriculture and poverty relief, connectivity, capacity and people-to-people exchanges, Liu said.
As for the East Asia Summit, Liu said the Premier will introduce China’s views on the summit’s future development, and emphasize adherence to the positioning of the summit as a strategic forum, adherence to principles such as ASEAN-led, negotiations for consensus and accommodating all sides’ comfort level.
China will urge the related parties to continue implementing the “Plan of Action to Implement the Phnom Penh Declaration on EAS Development Initiative”, advancing cooperation in six key areas and sticking to the “two-wheel drive” of economic development and political security, so as to promote the sound and stable development of the summit, Liu said.