HANOI, July 8 (Xinhua) -- Vietnamese Assistant Foreign Minister Pham Quang Vinh said here on Thursday that ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) is committed to promoting and deepening relations with China in the coming time.
Vinh made the remarks at a press briefing here Thursday on the upcoming 43rd ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, the ASEAN Regional Forum meeting and other related meetings to be held in Hanoi from July 19 to 23. Vietnam is holding the rotating chairmanship of ASEAN this year.
ASEAN and China will enhance cooperation in economic areas, trade and investment, and help each other in dealing with existing challenges to ensure economic recovery and in the fight against pandemics and disasters, said Vinh.
Last year, China and ASEAN decided to set up the China-ASEAN Investment Cooperation Fund worth ten billion U.S. dollars to finance investment cooperation projects in infrastructure, energy and resources, information and communication technology and other fields.
ASEAN and China are discussing specific measures to effectively use the fund and ensure that the fund brings benefits to both sides, he said.
Earlier this year, the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area agreement took effect. Vinh said both ASEAN and China considered the free trade area as one of the priorities for their cooperation.
ASEAN and China will support each other in building the capacity and raising people's awareness about favorable rules and regulations in implementing the agreement to take trade and investment opportunities, said the assistant foreign minister.
Vinh said that in its relationship with China, ASEAN wants China to help the bloc with building the ASEAN Community and narrow the development gap among ASEAN members.
The two sides have been cooperating and coordinating closely in regional forums. China has consistently affirmed its support for the ASEAN's focal role in the regional architecture, according to Vinh.
ASEAN and China have built their partnership for nearly 20 years for peace, stability, cooperation and common prosperity. The partnership is developing strongly and effectively, he said.
The two sides are actively preparing for the 20th anniversary of the dialogue partnership between ASEAN and China in 2011, said Vinh.
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