Keynote Address by H.E. Li Keqiang
Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China
At ASEAN Secretariat
Jakarta, 7 May 2018
Dato Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary General of ASEAN,
Permanent Representatives to ASEAN,
Members of the diplomatic corps,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to visit the ASEAN Secretariat. The first thing I saw upon entering the Secretariat court was the billowing national flags of the ASEAN member states. For me that is a powerful symbol of the unity and vibrancy of ASEAN as an organization. As ASEAN’s permanent institution, the Secretariat has played an important role in promoting ASEAN community building and ASEAN’s exchange and cooperation with the rest of the world. Let me extend, on behalf of the Chinese government, warm greetings and best wishes to all colleagues of the Secretariat, to the diplomatic envoys, to friends from the think tanks and media, and to all those who have cared for and supported the friendship and cooperation between China and ASEAN.
Celebrating its golden jubilee last year, ASEAN has been one of the most successful organizations of regional cooperation. With united and pioneering efforts over the past half a century, ASEAN countries have lifted Southeast Asia from the woes of conflict and poverty, and turned the sub-region into a land of peace, stability and development. You have established the first sub-regional community in Asia. You succeeded in setting up an ASEAN-led regional cooperation architecture and making ASEAN an important player in upholding regional peace and stability, advancing regional integration and promoting world multi-polarity. ASEAN’s progress is a testament to the unity, resilience, vitality and strength of its ten members. I admire the extraordinary achievements ASEAN has made and I am fully confident that ASEAN enjoys an even brighter future.
Linked by mountains and rivers, China and ASEAN are good neighbors, good friends and good partners. Our cooperation has gone far beyond the bilateral scope and has become an important force for promoting peace, stability and common prosperity in our region. Taking ASEAN as a high priority in its neighborhood diplomacy, China has been committed to growing friendship and cooperation with ASEAN, and supported ASEAN community building and ASEAN centrality in regional cooperation. China supports ASEAN in playing an even bigger role in developing an open and inclusive regional architecture.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the China-ASEAN strategic partnership. In the past 15 years, we have nurtured good-neighborly relations and built mutual trust. We stood side by side during challenging times, such as the global financial crisis and major natural disasters, and made tireless efforts to promote regional peace and common prosperity. By deepening cooperation with a people-centered approach, we have worked together to develop the Belt and Road Initiative and enhance people-to-people exchange, delivering real benefits to the countries and peoples in the region.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up policy. It is also the start of the next fifty years of ASEAN. In the course of China’s reform and opening-up and ASEAN integration, China and ASEAN countries have developed side by side and together embarked on a path of growth and prosperity. In his keynote speech at the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference held last month, President Xi Jinping put forward the vision for building a shared future and set out a series of new measures China will take for wider opening-up. China’s development will bring greater opportunities to the world, and ASEAN countries as China’s close neighbors stand to benefit more and earlier from these opportunities. We welcome ASEAN countries to get on-board the fast train of China’s development and wishes to work with ASEAN to build a closer community with a shared future and a better tomorrow for China-ASEAN cooperation.
China is committed to be ASEAN’s partner for common development. China will pursue its own development in the broader context of a developing Asia. We will work with ASEAN to fully implement the “3+X” cooperation framework, enhance the synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and ASEAN’s development strategies, build the economic belt in the Lancang-Mekong region, and upgrade cooperation with BIMP-EAGA. We will work to advance development at both regional and sub-regional levels to bolster regional competitiveness and deliver a more fulfilling and happy life for our peoples.
China is committed to be your partner for peace. China advocates a new vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. We are ready to work with countries in the region to build an ASEAN-centered, open and inclusive security architecture in the Asia Pacific on the basis of international law and rules. China will work with ASEAN countries to preserve the positive trend in the South China Sea, properly manage differences through amicable dialogue and steadily advance COC consultations to build the South China Sea into a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation.
China is committed to be your partner for greater openness and win-win progress. Both China and ASEAN countries have benefited from free trade, and it is hence in our common interests to uphold multilateralism and the international trading system. China is ready to work with ASEAN to reach early conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), build toward the East Asia economic community and promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation to inject positive energy into the world economy.
China is committed to be your partner for entrepreneurship and innovation. Innovation is the primary engine for development. This year is the China-ASEAN Innovation Year, which dovetails with the ASEAN theme of “Resilience and Innovation”. China will work with ASEAN to seize the opportunities in the new round of technological and industrial revolution and synergize our development initiatives in innovation. We are also ready to share the Chinese experience on the Internet Plus model and the massive entrepreneurship and innovation initiative. These efforts will lend fresh impetus to our business cooperation and innovation-driven development.
China is committed to be your partner in promoting inclusiveness and mutual learning. ASEAN offers a good example of different ethnic groups and cultures living side by side with each other. The Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence China advocates resonates with the ASEAN Way of consensus building and accommodating each other’s comfort levels. China will continue to respect the national conditions and development paths of ASEAN countries, and enhance our exchanges in governance, development philosophy, society and culture to jointly foster a spirit of China-ASEAN cooperation characterized by mutual trust, mutual accommodation, mutual benefit and mutual assistance.
There is hope when we dare to dream, and there is a future if we care to share. Let us forge ahead by connecting our dreams and sharing opportunities. Together, we can write a new chapter of China-ASEAN cooperation and bring to the world a new Asian miracle.