Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli proposed to step up maritime cooperation between China and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as he addressed the 12th China-ASEAN Expo on Sept 18.
Zhang said at the opening ceremony of the event in the southern Chinese city of Nanning that peace and stability in the South China Sea is important to regional development, prosperity and wellbeing, and is in the common interests of countries in the region.
“China is willing to work with ASEAN countries to comprehensively and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, and accelerate consultations on formulating a Code of Conduct for the South China Sea, in order to jointly maintain peace and stability,” he said.
The vice-premier suggested more regional cooperation in the maritime economy and communication, scientific research and environmental protection, maritime safety, and cultural exchanges.
This year has been named “the China-ASEAN maritime cooperation year.” The expo, lasting from Sept 18 to 21, is themed “creating a new blueprint for maritime cooperation by jointly building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road”, referring to the project to develop a stronger regional trade and infrastructure network.
Zhang also noted that China will step up production capacity cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
China is a leading manufacturing country, which boasts advantages in production capacity including equipment, technology, construction, capital and managerial experience.
ASEAN members are actively promoting industrialization and urbanization, and are in urgent need of equipment, technology and capital.
China is willing to cooperate with ASEAN members to increase production capacity in areas such as electricity, engineering machinery, building materials and communication. It is willing to jointly construct industrial parks to facilitate production and attract Chinese investment to the ASEAN, he said.
The two sides should improve financial cooperation and make good use of such financial platforms as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and Silk Road Fund, in order to support infrastructure construction and production capacity cooperation, Zhang added.
Initiated in 2004, the expo serves as an important platform to promote bilateral trade and relations between China and the ASEAN.