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China and ASEAN Issued a Significant Consensus for Joint Development

Post Time:2019-11-06 15:28:39

Global Times, November 4, 2019: On November 3, China-ASEAN issued the ASEAN-China Joint Statement on Synergising the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025 and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Xu Ningning,Executive President of the China-ASEAN Business Council, said in an interview that this is a significant consensus for joint development. It has a leading role in regional cooperation in East Asia and sets a fine example in the international cooperation of the “Belt and Road”.

The "Joint Statement" was issued at the 22nd China-ASEAN Leaders' Meeting in Bangkok on November 3. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha of Thailand, ASEAN's rotating chair, Philippine President Duterte, Brunei Sultan Hassanal, Indonesian President Joko, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen attended the meeting. Li Keqiang and Prayuth Chan-ocha co-chaired the meeting.

China-ASEAN: Conduct Cooperation with Consideration of Concerns

Xu Ningning said that since the establishment of China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership in 2003, the bilateral cooperation has been showing a multi-level, wide-ranging and all-round development momentum. In recent years, China actively seeks synergy between BRI and development strategies of ASEAN and its member states, which is conducive to conducting cooperation with consideration of common concerns, and thus is easy to implement and achieve results.

Xu Ningning said that at present, China is promoting the establishment of a new high-quality development and a new level of openness, and building the “Belt and Road” with relevant countries and regions; ASEAN is implementing the MPAC 2025. The synergising of the two combines major concerns and complementary advantages, demonstrating the confidence and determination of the bilateral cooperation and development, showing the world the increasingly consolidated and continuous development of the China-ASEAN strategic partnership, and proving that the words and deeds of thoes politicians who do not want to see and try to undermine the friendly relations between China and ASEAN are futile.

Xu Ningning said that the "Joint Statement" focuses on the bilateral cooperation in the eleven major areas, including: infrastructure project development, trade and investment, opposition to the trade protectionism, jointly promote Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership negotiations, jointly seize the opportunities brought about by the fourth industrial revolution, strengthen people-to-people exchanges and improve people's livelihood, enhance sub-regional cooperation, and give full play to bilateral and multilateral cooperation mechanisms to promote cooperation, and so on.


The “Joint Statement” Promotes the Realization of the “Vision 2030”

Xu Ningning said that multilateral cooperation is an important starting point for building the "Belt and Road", which is conducive to the stable and far reaching development and magnifies the effect of the "Belt and Road". In November 2018, the "China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership Vision 2030" was adopted at the 21st China-ASEAN Leaders' Meeting, which clarified the goals, directions, and key measures for bilateral cooperation and made a great contribution to the development of China-ASEAN relations. The release of the "Joint Statement" is a major driving force for the implementation of the "Vision 2030".

Xu Ningning said that every cause has its effect and a big cause has a great effect. In the past year, "Vision 2030" has promoted the cooperation between China and ASEAN and its member states to be more innovative, pragmatic and mutually beneficial and with new highlights in various areas. Regarding economic cooperation, the upgrading of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement is a major new highlight. The measures of both sides to further open up the markets have pushed the economic and trade cooperation to a new level, promoted the economic growth of China and ASEAN countries, and enhanced the bilateral cooperation to cope with the challenges brought about by the complex changes in the world economy.

Since January this year, ASEAN has become China's second largest trading partner. From January to September this year, China and ASEAN trade reached 459 billion US dollars, an increase of 5.9% over the same period of last year. Among China's top three trading partners (EU, ASEAN, the United States), China and ASEAN trade grew fastest. More and more Chinese companies are investing in ASEAN countries. The close economic cooperation has facilitated the integration of more common economic interests.


China-ASEAN: Actively Seek Synergy and Strengthen Growth Engine

Xu Ningning said that at present, the important task of the two sides to further implement the "China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership Vision 2030" is to actively seek synergy and strengthen growth engine. The implementation of the BRI and the MPAC 2025 has further clarified the starting point and focus of the bilateral cooperation, which is conducive to the high quality and high efficiency of bilateral cooperation and mutual benefit.

Xu Ningning said that the "Joint Statement" plays a role of strengthening the engine of bilateral cooperation, which is concerned with the motivation and vitality of cooperation. The China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership Vision 2030 emphasizes that: “Stand firm against growing protectionist and anti-globalisation sentiments, and reaffirm that international trade and investment are important engines for sustainable economic growth and development, the reduction of social inequality, and securing a better future for our people.”

Xu Ningning said that actively seeking synergy not only requires the efforts from the the China-ASEAN multilateral level, the bilateral level between China and ASEAN countries, but also from fields and industries level, meso and micro level, and NGO level. We need to mobilize and give play to different levels, so as to create an active situation with all parties participating. It is of course impossible to accomplish at once, and we need to make unremitting efforts. As far as China is concerned, it is particularly necessary to vigorously improve the level of international communication and cooperation of all parties involved, including enterprises.

He expressed the belief that the implementation of the "Joint Statement" will certainly promote the new development of regional cooperation and benefit the world economic growth.

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