China's FM Highlights China-ASEAN Bilateral Relationships
    2013-08-02 19:11:34     CRIENGLISH.com         Web Editor: Mao Yaqing

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Foreign Minister Wang Yi is representing China at a forum being held in Bangkok to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the signing of the China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership.

CRI's Zhang Shuangfeng has more.


 

In his keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the forum, Foreign Minister Wang Yi has taken time to highlight the achievements the two sides have made over the past decade.

"In the past ten years, China and ASEAN countries have achieved fruitful results. China is the first country outside the region to join the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia; China and ASEAN take the lead in setting up a strategic partnership and establishing the largest free trade zone among developing countries."

The China-ASEAN free trade area was established in January of 2010.

In the first half of this year, bilateral trade has seen a year-on-year growth of over 12-percent, with trade totaling over 210-billion U.S. dollars.

China is now the largest trading partner of the ASEAN regional bloc, and the second largest source of tourists traveling to southeast Asian countries.

Wang Yi also notes there is frequent cooperation and exchanges between the two sides when dealing with issues such as the global financial meltdown and natural disasters.

"Looking back, the most important basis of the development of China-ASEAN relationship is that we were jointly maintaining the regional peace and stability, the most important experience is that we are sticking to the principal of dealing with disputes through peaceful negotiations. These experiences and consensus are precious and needed to be upheld in the future. "

The Foreign Minister says China and ASEAN countries will discuss the mapping of the code of conduct for the South China Sea.

"We also hope other countries can bear the same principal in minds and work with us in the same direction, without taking actions that make the current situation more complicated."

The forum in Thailand is part of Wang Yi's official visit to the Southeast Asia, which will also see him make stops in Malaysia, Laos and Vietnam.

This is Wang Yi's second trip to Thailand in less than half a year.

Chinese authorities are suggesting this is a sign of the importance China's new leadership attaches to its relationship with Thailand and ASEAN as a whole.

For CRI, this is Zhang Shuangfeng.

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