Remarks by State Councilor Yang Jiechi At Reception Marking the 10th Anniversary of China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership
2013/08/29

(Beijing, 29 August 2013)

Your Excellencies Foreign Ministers of ASEAN Member States and ASEAN Secretary-General,

Your Excellencies Ambassadors of ASEAN Member States to China,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to join you in the golden autumn season in Beijing to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the establishment of China-ASEAN strategic partnership. Let me first express, on behalf of the Chinese government, sincere thanks and best wishes to all friends who have long been committed to China-ASEAN friendship.

The past ten years have seen leapfrog development in China-ASEAN relations. Politically, we have enjoyed mutual trust and support and have set an example for friendly coexistence between developing countries. Economically, we have worked together to pursue common development. China has become ASEAN's top trading partner, while ASEAN China's third largest trading partner. People-to-people and cultural exchanges have increased with over 15 million people travelling between the two sides, meeting the target three years ahead of schedule and contributing to deepened friendship between our peoples. We have worked together with the larger picture of Asian interests in mind and made steady progress in East Asian regional cooperation. In these ten years in which we have cooperated with each other and weathered storms together, our relations have withstood the test and grown stronger and more mature. Today, China and ASEAN are good neighbors, good partners and good friends who pull together and assist each other in times of difficulty. China-ASEAN friendship has become an important pillar supporting peace and stability in East Asia. And China-ASEAN cooperation has shown the world an Asian spirit of solidarity and perseverance, heralding an even brighter future for Asia.

History is our best guide. The development of China-ASEAN relations in the past decade has convinced us that only by firmly upholding regional peace and stability can we take advantage of the rare development opportunities. Only by resolutely advancing regional economic integration and seeking common development can our people benefit most extensively from the dividends of cooperation. And only by sticking to the "Asian way" and the "ASEAN way" of addressing differences and conflicts through friendly consultation and dialogue on an equal footing can we remove obstacles, build consensus, and take China-ASEAN relations forward.

Distinguished Guests,

Dear Friends,

Major changes have taken place in Asia and the world in the past ten years. All eyes are now on Asia, a continent that has registered a rapid growth. The economic growth of China and ASEAN countries, being important emerging economies in Asia, has powered Asia's development and world economic recovery. The Chinese economy is now at a critical stage of transformation and upgrading. The Chinese government is taking a series of reform measures to energize the market, tap the potential of domestic demand and build an upgraded version of the Chinese economy. The Chinese government has the determination, confidence and capacity to meet the development goals. We also believe that ASEAN will make greater achievements towards the goal of an ASEAN Community.

The Chinese government will stick to the policy of developing friendships and partnerships with neighboring countries, continue to give priority to ASEAN in its diplomacy with surrounding countries, and deepen its strategic partnership with ASEAN. China will continue to support ASEAN in its growth and its efforts to build the ASEAN Community and support ASEAN's centrality in East Asia cooperation. We are ready to work with all ASEAN countries for closer and stronger relations between us.

–– We should maintain frequent high-level exchanges at the bilateral and multilateral levels, expand exchanges and cooperation between governments, legislative bodies and political parties of the two sides, and communicate with each other sincerely and candidly like members of one big family to increase mutual trust and deepen friendship.

–– We should jointly advance major cooperation initiatives, accelerate the development of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (CAFTA), push forward all-dimensional connectivity at a faster pace, and actively carry out maritime cooperation to foster new cooperation growth points.

–– We should always treat each other with respect and as equals, expand dialogue and cooperation in the security field, work concertedly for common security in the region, and maintain stability and tranquility in Asia.

–– We should increase interaction between the youth, think tanks, media agencies, NGOs and social groups to spread the seeds of friendship, enhance mutual understanding and pass on the China-ASEAN traditional, good-neighborly friendship from generation to generation.

–– We should uphold the Asian principles for regional cooperation, enrich and improve the regional cooperation architecture, play an active part in global governance, join hands in safeguarding the rights and interests of developing countries and promote a more just and equitable international order.

Distinguished Guests,

Dear Friends,

In this new era, China and ASEAN countries are growing into a community of common destiny with intertwined interests and shared responsibilities. As aptly put by the ASEAN anthem, "For peace, our goal from the very start, and prosperity to last. We dare to dream, we care to share." It is our common goal to strengthen the strategic partnership, promote common prosperity and uphold Asia's peace and stability. Looking back, we are deeply proud of what we have achieved in the past decade; looking ahead, we are fully confident about what we can achieve in the next ten years. I am convinced that as long as we keep to the right direction, enhance cooperation and properly handle differences, we will be able to build a brighter future for China-ASEAN relations, and fulfill the dreams of our respective countries and peoples, and the beautiful dream of ensuring lasting peace and common prosperity in Asia.

Thank you.

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