CCTV.com - CNTV English - CCTV News

ASEAN foreign ministers to experience ASEAN's multi-modal connectivity

01-21-2011 22:21 BJT

JAKARTA, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- ASEAN Foreign Ministers will be embarking on Sunday, a road trip traversing Thailand, Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR) and China, which will coincide with the 20th anniversary of ASEAN-China dialogue partnership followed by an ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers' Meeting on January 25, a statement released by ASEAN Secretariat said here on Friday.

The three-day program will begin on January 23 in Chiang Rai, Thailand. The Foreign Ministers will cross the Mekong River on a barge to Houey Xay in Lao PDR, and then travel by coach to Luang Nam Tha, before driving to Jinghong and flying into Kunming in China.

The Thai Foreign Minister, H.E. Kasit Piromya, when inviting his counterparts, noted that the trip will demonstrate intra-ASEAN and ASEAN-China mainland, maritime and aviation connectivity. The Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity, adopted by ASEAN Leaders at the 17th ASEAN Summit in October last year, is ASEAN's response to the region's need to be better connected physically, institutionally and in terms of people-to-people contact.

Minister Kasit also expected the trip to "kick-off a good year in ASEAN-China relations" on the "auspicious" 20th anniversary.

The Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dr Surin Pitsuwan, who will also join the Ministers on this multi-mode travel said, "Multi-modal connectivity is extremely critical for ASEAN integration and community building." "We are now embarking on land transport. Sea and air transports are also being developed with equal sense of urgency," he added.

"This road trip is an attempt by ASEAN Foreign Ministers and their Chinese counterpart H.E. Yang Jiechi to demonstrate to the world that we are effectively connected and this connection will certainly improve by the time ASEAN becomes one Community by 2015, " he confirmed.

The R3A is one of the new highways serving the North-South Economic Corridor, which stretches over 2,000 km. The highway links Thailand with Lao PDR and Yunnan Province, China.

The ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers' Meeting is expected to exchange views on advancing ASEAN-China relations, including connectivity, cultural exchanges, ASEAN-China Free Trade Area ( ACFTA), and the East Asia cooperation.

The ACFTA, realized on January 1 last year, opened up a combined market of 1.9 billion people, accounting for a combined GDP of close to 6 trillion U.S. dollars and a total trade volume of 4.5 trillion US Dollars.

Surin explained that China offers a huge and expanding market for all ASEAN Member States. "We are talking about an almost two billion people strong market combined between ASEAN and China. Our commodities, our tourism industry and our services sector will benefit a great deal from our connectivity with China," he concluded.

The ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers' Meeting will be preceded by a launching ceremony of the ASEAN-China Friendship and Exchange Year, also held in Kunming. Kunming is the capital city of the Southwestern province of Yunnan, which shares borders with three ASEAN Member States -- Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam.

Editor:Xiong Qu |Source: Xinhua

Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program