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To promote a closer China-ASEAN Community of Shared Destiny

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

08-04-2015 17:44 BJT

By Gu Jianjun, PhD, Central Compilation and Translation Bureau

As a Chinese saying goes, a good neighbor is better than a distant brother. China will prioritize the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in developing neighboring diplomacy.

In October 2013 Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Southeast Asian nations and proposed joint construction of a closer China-ASEAN Community of Shared Destiny outlining the character of China-ASEAN relations. China closely connects with Southeast Asian countries through the China-ASEAN Community of Shared Destiny and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. 

Foreign ministers’ meetings on East Asian cooperation serve as the foundation for both ASEAN Plus One and ASEAN Plus Three, the East Asia Summit and the ASEAN Regional Forum, guaranteeing sound development of regional cooperation.

During his visit to Malaysia from August 4 to 7, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is to attend the 2015 East Asia foreign ministers’ meetings in Kuala Lumpur in support of the bilateral “ASEAN Plus One” cooperation mechanism, 2+7 cooperation framework and the Lancang-Mekong River Dialogue and Cooperation Mechanism.

ASEAN Plus One cooperation mechanism

The China-ASEAN cooperation mechanism has put stress on economics and gradually expands into politics, security, culture and so on, forming a multi-level, comprehensive system.

Established on January 1, 2012, the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area covers a population of 1.9 billion with a total gross domestic product of US$6,000 billion, accounting for one ninth of the world’s GDP and an aggregate trade volume of US$4,500 billion.  It is China’s first free trade area open to foreign countries, the largest free trade area among developing countries and the world’s third-largest free trade area.

2+7 cooperation framework

In October 2013 Chinese Premier Li Keqiang attended the 16th China-ASEAN leadership meeting, confirming the 2+7 cooperation framework for the following decade: international cooperation in seven fields including politics, trade, economics, interconnectivity, financing, security and cultural exchanges based on a consensus of mutual strategic trust and economic development.

The 2+7 cooperation framework follows in a direct line from the China-ASEAN Community of Shared Destiny put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping and is a specific road map for development of China-ASEAN relations in the next 10 years.

Lancang-Mekong River Dialogue and Cooperation Mechanism

In Beijing on April 6, China, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Burma and Vietnam held the first Lancang-Mekong River Dialogue and Cooperation meeting themed “Six countries, one community of shared destiny: build Lancang-Mekong River Dialogue and Cooperation Mechanism to promote regional sustainable development.”

Countries along the Mekong are China’s important cooperation partners to forge an Asian community of common destiny and promote construction of the One Belt One Road Initiative. The Lancang-Mekong River Dialogue and Cooperation Mechanism has obvious reciprocal demands and a favorable basis to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results.

All parties are working hard to implement proposals and have achieved interim results:

The construction of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area is accelerating and economic amalgamation is deepening. As a result, the bilateral trade volume between China and ASEAN countries hit US$480.1 billion in 2014, year-on-year growth rate of 8.23 percent. In the first half of 2015, the trade volume stood at US$224.38 billion, a year-on-year growth rate of 1.6 percent.

China has become the largest trade partner of ASEAN and ASEAN is China’s third-largest trade partner, fourth-largest export market and second-largest import source. Both ASEAN countries and China are striving to achieve the goal of US$1 trillion bilateral trade volume in 2020 and US$150 billion two-way investment in the next eight years. Both are working hard to complete negotiations on an upgraded version of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area at an early date.

The year 2015 is of great significance for implementation of China’s “One Belt One Road” initiatives, which refer to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road with a goal of reviving ancient trade routes between Asia and Europe. This year also marks the Year of China-ASEAN Maritime Cooperation.

Within the ASEAN Plus One cooperation mechanism, 2+7 cooperation framework and Lancang-Mekong River Dialogue and Cooperation Mechanism, all parties should enhance mutual strategic trust, deepen all-round cooperation, promote endorsement of Treaty of Good Neighborliness, Friendship, and Cooperation between China and ASEAN. All parties should promote endorsement of negotiations on a regional comprehensive economic partnership and implement the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road strategy.

 

( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )

 

 

Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

 

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