China, ASEAN adopt long-term plan for ties, future cooperation

15 November 2018
China, ASEAN adopt long-term plan for ties, future cooperation
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (5-L) poses in a group photograph with ASEAN leaders during the 21st ASEAN - China Summit, part of the 33rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related meetings in Singapore, 14 November 2018. Photo: How Hwee Young/EPA

China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Wednesday adopted their first medium and long-term plan to guide the future development of their strategic partnership and mutually beneficial cooperation. 

The China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership Vision 2030 was endorsed at the 21st China-ASEAN summit on Wednesday. 

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, whose country holds the rotating ASEAN chairmanship this year, said in the opening remarks of the summit that the plan will chart the future direction of the ASEAN-China strategic partnership. 

He said ASEAN and China share a strong, substantial and mutually beneficial relationship and bilateral economic ties are "robust," adding that China has been ASEAN's top trade partner for continued years and the upgraded bilateral free trade agreement will open up new opportunities for businesses and further increase two-way trade. 

The Singaporean prime minister also highlighted the progress made by the two sides over negotiations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) which he said is close to finishing line. 

He said the two sides have also deepened mutual trust and understanding to manage their differences peacefully and in a spirit of goodwill, adding that they have announced a single draft negotiating text to commence the negotiations on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea. 

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership. China has pledged that ASEAN is a priority of China's diplomacy and will support the construction of the ASEAN Community and its centrality in regional cooperation in East Asia. 

Established in 1967, ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Courtesy Global Times