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What does ASEAN Community mean to China?

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

01-04-2016 18:32 BJT

By Wang Jie, Professor and Doctoral Supervisor of Party School of the Central Committee of C.P.C

On Dec. 31, Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah, rotating-president of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), announced the ASEAN Community (AC) was officially founded, marking a landmark for ASEAN history.


Based on a security, economic and socio-cultural community, AC has integrated ASEAN into "one goal, one identity and one voice." Yet, is it an opportunity or challenge to China?

AC - new opportunity for China-ASEAN trade ties.

China is the biggest trading partner of ASEAN, and ASEAN the 3rd largest trading partner, 4th largest export market and 2nd largest export source of China. After AC was founded, ASEAN becomes the 7th world's largest economy, with a population over 625 million and GDP (gross domestic product) of USD 2.6 trillion.

ASEAN is expected to become the 4th largest economy with a GDP of USD 4.7 trillion in 2020, which makes for a wider market and better investment environment with convenient trading conditions. AC creates a big unified market offering more possibilities to upgrade China-ASEAN Free Trade Area.

AC could promote greater cooperation on RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership), the largest free trade agreement negotiations between China and ASEAN in Asia. Beijing considers ASEAN its priority to implement Belt and Road initiative.

AC would drive construction of the 21st Centruy Maritime Silk Road and help with mutual connections in ASEAN and the Belt and Road strategy of China.

Political security is a mixed blessing.

As good partners, neighbors and friends, the high political mutual trust and practical cooperation between both sides have made significant contributions to peace, stability and development in the region.

But several member states of ASEAN, e.g. the Philippines, had sparked trouble and magnified the South Sea issue.  The ASEAN Security Community stresses the importance of collective security to tackle regional non-traditional security concerns that dominate regional security cooperation with ASEAN.

But the rising heat over sovereignty of the South China Sea might result in some countries challenging Beijing and China should pay attention to that. 2016 is the year of initiating China's 13th Five-year Plan as well.

Both parties should further connect the development strategy, to enhance political mutual trust, deepen cooperation in terms of the economy, trade and humanities, build a more intimate China-ASEAN community of destiny together and promote peace and development within the region.


( 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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