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China dismisses claims of boycotting against Philippine products
   2016-07-19 16:21:18    Xinhua/CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Fei Fei

Vice Commerce Minsiter Gao Yan is pictured at a press conference in Beijing on July 19, 2016. [Photo: The Ministry of Commerce]

A Chinese senior official said that China and the Philippines enjoy "relatively stable" economic and trade relations, while dismissing claims that Chinese people have boycotted foreign products, especially those made in the Philippines.

Vice Commerce Minister Gao Yan made the remark at a news conference on Tuesday when asked whether trade ties between China and the Philippines will be affected following the South China Sea arbitration award that was ruled against the country.

"China is willing to develop mutually beneficial trade and economic ties with the Philippines in various forms," she added.

In the meantime, bilateral trade between China and ASEAN (the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations) has boomed during the past 25 years, but it has declined this year because of the lackluster global economy, the vice minister said.

Gao said China-ASEAN trade rose to 472.16 billion U.S. dollars in 2015 from 7.96 billion U.S. dollars in 1991, with an annual growth rate of 18.5 percent.

During the Jan.-May period, however, bilateral trade fell 7.1 percent year on year to 173.57 billion U.S. dollars.

The two sides are trying their best to "get bilateral-trade growth back on track as soon as possible", Gao said.

China is ASEAN's biggest trading partner, while ASEAN is China's third biggest.

By the end of May, the two-way investment had exceeded 160 billion U.S. dollars, with ASEAN remaining a major destination for Chinese companies.

The 13th China-ASEAN Expo will be held in Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, from Sept. 11-14.

The expo, co-sponsored by China and the 10 ASEAN countries, has been held for 12 consecutive years since 2004, serving as an international economic and trade event for the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area.

With the theme of "Building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, Forging an Even-Closer China-ASEAN Community of Common Destiny," the 13th expo will advance mutual investment between China and ASEAN in the key areas of industrial capacity cooperation and equipment manufacturing, Gao said.

Seminars and forums to be held on the sidelines of the expo are expected to attract around 1,500 attendees from home and abroad.

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