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Wang Yi Attends and Addresses the Opening Ceremony of the Conference on Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations
2021-07-28 14:14

On July 28, 2021, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the Opening Ceremony of the Conference on Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations via video link, and delivered a speech entitled "Build on Past Achievements and Scale New Heights".

Noting this year marks the 30th anniversary of China-ASEAN dialogue relations, Wang Yi said, it is a "big year" with special significance for China-ASEAN relations. In the three decades, China-ASEAN relations have come a long way. We have taken the lead in establishing a strategic partnership and building a free trade area. We have deepened cooperation across the board and remained the pace-setter for East Asian cooperation.

Wang Yi pointed out, guided by the East Asian approach of mutual respect and consensus, China and ASEAN have always accommodated each other's concerns and core interests, enhanced mutual understanding and trust through sincere communication, and appropriately addressed differences and disputes by pursuing common ground while shelving differences, setting the example of equal treatment and peaceful coexistence; China and ASEAN are always committed to pursuing shared development goals, synergizing development strategies, and expanding mutually beneficial cooperation, setting the example of common development and win-win cooperation; China and ASEAN have always provided each other with all-out support and selfless help as a community with a shared future, setting the example of mutual assistance and solidarity; China and ASEAN are always committed to strengthening people-to-people bonds, and carrying forward our traditions of good neighborliness and partnership and the Asian values, setting the example of mutual learning and harmonious coexistence between civilizations. China-ASEAN relations have become a fine example of the most successful and vibrant bilateral relations in the Asia-Pacific, and served as an important pillar for peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

Wang Yi underscored, as the China-ASEAN relationship is getting more mature, it is all the more important for us to cherish the valuable experience gained in the 30-year cooperation, cherish the hard-won peace and stability in the region, and cherish the sincere friendship that our peoples have nurtured. We should commit ourselves to building a higher-level strategic partnership and forging a stronger community with a shared future to cultivate a more productive and robust China-ASEAN relationship in the next 30 years. In this regard, Wang Yi put forward a five-point proposal:

We need to uphold good-neighborliness and enhance strategic mutual trust. China will always take ASEAN as a priority in its diplomacy, especially in its neighborhood diplomacy. China will firmly support ASEAN's community building, and firmly support ASEAN centrality in regional cooperation. Our two sides need to continue to render mutual understanding and support on issues concerning each other's core interests, and further consolidate and cement the foundation of strategic mutual trust.

We need to put people first and deepen COVID response cooperation. China is ready to do its best to provide ASEAN countries with COVID vaccines, and support ASEAN countries in building regional vaccine production and distribution centers in order to enhance the accessibility and affordability of vaccines in the region. The two sides need to deliver on the China-ASEAN Cooperation Program on Public Health Management, and jointly protect the life, health and security of people in the region.

We need to focus on development and foster new growth drivers. China is ready to work with ASEAN to support the implementation of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework, promote the early entry-into-force and implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, and boost regional economic integration. We need to promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, and forge a partnership on digital economy, technological innovation, blue economy, sustainable development and transition to a green economy, for the purpose of helping sustain regional recovery and ensure the long-term growth of China-ASEAN relations.

We need to bear in mind the bigger picture and safeguard peace and stability. China is willing to step up dialogue and consultation with the parties concerned on the South China Sea to properly manage differences, steer clear of external disruptions, advance practical maritime cooperation, and maintain peace, stability and long-term security in the South China Sea. We need to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea in its entirety, and speed up consultations on a code of conduct (COC) in order to reach a substantive and effective COC that conforms with the international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

We need to uphold solidarity and coordination and defend justice and fairness. China will work with ASEAN to safeguard the UN-centered international system and the basic norms governing international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. We need to champion multilateralism with Asian characteristics, build an open and inclusive framework for regional cooperation, and defend the common interests of people of developing countries and of the whole world. Together, we can make greater contribution to a fairer, more just, more peaceful and safer world.

Wang Yi said, China will work with ASEAN to stay as good neighbors that look out for each other in times of need, good friends sharing weal and woe, and good partners in pursuit of common development. I am convinced that through our concerted efforts, China-ASEAN relations will grow with greater maturity and confidence, and embrace a better and more promising future.

Secretary-General of ASEAN Lim Jock Hoi delivered a speech at the opening ceremony, saying that the ASEAN-China strategic partnership has already become one of the most vibrant partnerships with the richest content in the region. China's support for ASEAN centrality, ASEAN's community building and integration process, as well as active participation in the ASEAN-led regional mechanisms are a concrete embodiment of China's support for regionalism and multilateralism, and exert an important influence on the regional situation. The two sides have helped and worked with each other in the COVID-19 battle over the past two years, fully showcasing their solidarity and friendship. ASEAN thanks China for providing ASEAN countries with COVID vaccines and medical supplies, supporting the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund, and proposing such initiatives as developing the ASEAN Plus Three Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies for Public Health Emergencies, and is willing to work with China to implement the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework, to boost regional recovery and sustainable development. For three decades, ASEAN and China have been committed to developing relations on the basis of mutual trust, mutual benefit, mutual respect for sovereignty, etc. We firmly believe that the relations will usher in an even better future and expect that this year's ASEAN-China Summit will lift the strategic partnership and friendly cooperation between the two sides to a new high.

Hosted by the China Institute of International Studies, the Conference on Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations was held online and offline, with the presence of diplomatic envoys of ASEAN countries to China, experts and scholars of China and ASEAN countries, and responsible officials of such international organizations as the ASEAN-China Center.

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