Editor’s Note: This is the ninth installment of Belt and Road Portal's special series on the Belt and Road Big Data Report 2017.
More than half of the Chinese media and netizens surveyed are optimistic in regard to the potential of China’s cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), according to a report.
The Belt and Road Big Data Report 2017, published by the State Information Center, outlines that 59.15 percent of the sampled Chinese media and netizens last year are optimistic about China-ASEAN cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, higher than the 49.77 percent in 2013.
Furthermore, 55.22 percent of Chinese media and netizens think ASEAN is an important neighboring bloc, and China-ASEAN cooperation has a comparatively good infrastructure foundation; the two sides have close ties in agriculture, ocean fishing and tourism cooperation; the Belt and Road Initiative offers new opportunities for China-ASEAN cooperation, and the ASEAN members can effectively improve their transport infrastructure and upgrade their industrial structures through taking part in the Initiative; China-ASEAN cooperation has already reaped concrete progress such as the high-speed railway in Indonesia, and the railway project in Laos.
Chinese media and netizens look forward to strengthening cooperation with ASEAN in railway construction, the automobile industry and electricity power.
The report’s survey in ASEAN countries indicates that the ASEAN media and netizens expect to deepen cooperation with China in the sectors of tourism, steel and automobile industries. For instance, Singapore considers automobile industrial cooperation most important; Cambodia the steel industry, and Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the other eight countries are most concerned with tourism.
China and ASEAN are each other’s largest source of tourists. More than 2,700 flights shuttle between the two sides every week.
Wang Xiaofeng, deputy head of the China National Tourism Administration, said: “The Chinese government is implementing the tourism consumption and investment promotional plans to stimulate tourism’s development. These actions will create rich opportunities for the countries along the Belt and Road routes, including the ASEAN countries, to show their natural resources and deepen tourism cooperation.”