China, ASEAN vow to further enhance ties
Visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Lim Jock Hoi, secretary-general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), here on Thursday, with both sides pledging to further enhance China-ASEAN relations.
Among the relations between ASEAN and its dialogue partners, the China-ASEAN relations are the most dynamic and fruitful ones, and have become an important pillar for regional peace and stability, development and prosperity, Wang said.
He said China appreciates the important contribution made by the ASEAN Secretariat to promote the development of China-ASEAN ties and cooperation in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the China-ASEAN dialogue relations. Wang expressed his hope that both sides take this opportunity to organize a series of commemorative events, implement the five-year action plan, elevate the China-ASEAN relations, and build a closer China-ASEAN community with a shared future.
He said China is willing to work with ASEAN to improve the level of cooperation in public health, carry out COVID-19 vaccine cooperation with more ASEAN countries, work together with ASEAN countries to build a blue economy partnership, jointly make the China-ASEAN Year of Sustainable Development Cooperation a success, and strengthen cooperation in digital economy and people-to-people exchanges among other areas.
Wang emphasized that China will continue to support the work of the ASEAN Secretariat, strengthen the China-ASEAN cooperation fund, adhere to the ASEAN centrality, and stand firmly with ASEAN.
Lim said the ASEAN-China relations are of great significance to ASEAN. He thanked China for its strong support to ASEAN's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. He hoped that both sides would seize the opportunity of the 30th anniversary of the dialogue relations to further elevate the ties.
Lim said that this year ASEAN will focus on poverty reduction, disaster prevention and mitigation, as well as sustainable development, and is willing to strengthen cooperation and capacity building with China in relevant areas to help achieve the United Nation's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
ASEAN is committed to maintaining a free, open and rules-based free trade system and supports its member nations in deepening cooperation with China to accelerate regional economic recovery, he added.