With the continuous progress of China’s opening-up to the outside world, the effect of China’s own recovery driving the world’s common recovery is becoming increasingly prominent, and the space for cooperation between China and ASEAN will be wider.
From November 27th to 30th, the 17th China-ASEAN Expo was held in Nanning, Guangxi with the theme of “Building the Belt and Road Initiative Together and Building the Digital Economy”. For the first time, this year’s East Expo adopts the form of online and offline exhibitions, with a total of 5,400 physical exhibitions and more than 1,500 “cloud” participating enterprises. At the signing ceremony on the 27th, the parties signed a total of 86 domestic and foreign investment cooperation projects, with a total investment of 263.87 billion yuan, an increase of 43.6% year-on-year, the largest increase in the East China Expo in history. The surging vitality at the East China Expo fully demonstrates the great potential for cooperation between China and ASEAN.
“Under the new situation, China regards ASEAN as a priority direction of surrounding diplomacy and a key area for high-quality joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative. It supports the construction of the ASEAN community, supports ASEAN’s central position in East Asian cooperation, and supports ASEAN to play a greater role in building an open and inclusive regional architecture.” President Xi Jinping delivered a speech at the opening ceremony of the 17th China-ASEAN Expo and the China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit, proposing “enhancing strategic mutual trust, deepening the docking development plan”, “enhancing economic and trade cooperation, accelerating the overall economic recovery of the region”, “enhancing scientific and technological innovation, deepening digital economic cooperation” and “enhancing anti-epidemic cooperation” , strengthen public health capacity-building.” Four promotions”, looking at the reality, looking at the long-term, has aroused heated discussion in all walks of life in ASEAN. Asongxi, an adviser to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Thai Senate, believes that these four-point initiatives are important guiding significance for building a closer ASEAN-China community of destiny and pointing out the direction for the future development of ASEAN-China relations.
China and ASEAN are connected by mountains and rivers, and have a long history of friendship. Among the ASEAN dialogue partners, China has created a number of “firsts”: the first to accede to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, the first to establish a strategic partnership with ASEAN, the first to negotiate the establishment of a free trade area with ASEAN, and the first to clearly support ASEAN’s central position in East Asian regional cooperation.
In 2013, President Xi Jinping proposed to jointly build the Maritime Silk Road in the 21st century with ASEAN countries and work together to build a closer China-ASEAN community of destiny. Over the past seven years, the interconnection between the two sides has been accelerating, economic integration has continued to deepen, economic and trade cooperation has been accelerating day by day, and cultural exchanges have become closer. China-ASEAN relations have become the most successful and dynamic model in Asia-Pacific regional cooperation, and a vivid example of promoting the construction of a community with a shared future for mankind.
In the past seven years, the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative has taken root and blossomed in ASEAN countries. The two sides are continuing to deepen the connection with the ASEAN development plan on the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative, and steadily promoting major projects such as the China-Lao Railway, the China-Thailand Railway, and the Yawan High-Speed Railway. China is willing to work with ASEAN to implement the Joint Statement on Docking and Cooperation between the Belt and Road Initiative and the ASEAN Interconnection Master Plan 2025, rely on the construction of new land and sea corridors, strengthen the interconnection and cooperation of railways, highways, ports, airports, power, communications and other infrastructures, and accelerate the promotion. The construction of existing economic corridors and key projects actively builds the China-ASEAN Multimodal Transport Alliance. The integration of China and ASEAN is the general trend and the expectation of the people.
China and ASEAN continue to make new achievements in economic and trade cooperation. In the 10 years since the full completion of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, the trade volume of the two sides has increased from 292.8 billion US dollars in 2010 to 641.5 billion US dollars in 2019. In the first three quarters of this year, the trade volume of the two sides reached $481.8 billion, an increase of 5% year-on-year, making ASEAN China’s largest trading partner for the first time. The economic and trade cooperation between the two sides has effectively promoted each other’s development and prosperity. The recently signed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement is conducive to enhancing regional attractiveness and competitiveness, promoting regional economic recovery, allowing the Asia-Pacific region to continue to lead the trend, and further boosting the confidence of bilateral economic and trade cooperation.
The digital economy is the future development direction of the world and an important field of cooperation between China and ASEAN. This year is the year of China-ASEAN Digital Economic Cooperation. The two sides work together to seize the opportunities of a new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation, give full play to complementary advantages, and focus on win-win cooperation. It can create more new cooperation highlights in smart cities, 5G, artificial intelligence, e-commerce, big data, blockchain, telemedicine and other fields. to cultivate more new momentum for the economic and social development of both sides.
China has always adhered to the concept of cordial and beneficial peripheral diplomacy to develop relations with ASEAN countries. Look for good friends, look for good neighbors. With the pace of China’s wide opening up to the outside world, the effect of China’s own recovery driving the world’s common recovery is becoming increasingly prominent, and China’s space for cooperation with ASEAN will be wider. Next year will be the 30th anniversary of the establishment of dialogue between China and ASEAN. People in the region expect the two sides to build a higher level of strategic partnership, build a closer China-ASEAN community of destiny, inject more stability and certainty into the regional situation, inject more new momentum into regional development, and enhance the commonality of the people of the region. Welfare.