China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are adopting a strategic partnership guideline towards 2030, as leaders from the two sides gathered for their annual meeting on Wednesday in Singapore.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, attending the 21st China-ASEAN (10+1) leaders’ meeting, commended the strong partnership and deep economic cooperation between China and ASEAN countries.
Reflecting on the profound changes of global and regional situations, Li said the political trust and cooperation between China and ASEAN countries have grown from strength to strength, and the two sides have become an important presence on the world stage.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the strategic partnership between China and ASEAN.
China’s Premier Li Keqiang poses for a group photo with ASEAN leaders at the ASEAN-China leaders’ meeting in Singapore, on November
Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who chaired the meeting, also commended the China-ASEAN cooperation.
Lee told the summit that China and ASEAN are expected to adopt the China-ASEAN strategic partnership vision 2030 statement, chartering the strategic direction of bilateral cooperation.
Lee said the bilateral ties are strong and mutually beneficial, and the two sides have deepened mutual trust and understanding and managed the differences peacefully and in the spirit of goodwill.
He also highlighted economic achievements. He said China has been ASEAN’s top trading partner for eight consecutive years. In 2017, the China-ASEAN merchandized trade volume reached 442 billion US dollars, representing 17 percent of ASEAN’s totally merchandized trade. The two sides inked a free-trade agreement in 2010, and it was upgraded in 2015.
Progress has been made this year, as Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiation is approaching the finishing line, Lee noted.
Echoing Lee’s remarks, the Chinese premier announced that China and all ASEAN countries concluded the upgrade of the China-ASEAN FTA regarding all domestic producers on Tuesday, which means the economic and investment collaboration will scale new height.
Li will also attend the 21st ASEAN-China, Japan and South Korea (10+3) leaders’ meeting later on Wednesday and the 13th East Asia Summit in the following days.