GUIYANG, Guizhou—In a bid to build an advanced version of strategic partnership, China and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) unanimously agreed on Friday to formulate 2030 Vision.
“To make better plans for our future relations, we have agreed to formulate 2030 Vision of China-ASEAN strategic partnership,” Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin announced this in a press conference after the 23rd ASEAN-China Senior Officials’ Consultation held in Guiyang, China.
Liu said China and ASEAN senior officials got endorsement from their respective foreign ministers and leaders, vowing to start immediately the drafting of the 2030 Vision
“We are confident that 2030 Vision for China-Asean strategic partnership will make brand new plans cooperation going forward with a more comprehensive and higher level manner,” Liu, co-chair of the 23rd ASEAN-China Senior Officials’ Consultation, said.
“We are hoping to release it next year before the 15th anniversary of China-ASEAN strategic partnership,” he added.
Liu said China is committed to elevate its strategic partnership with ASEAN by synergizing ASEAN region with China’s Belt and Road Initiative “to deepen connectivity and production capacity.”
He said ASEAN member states are among the priorities under the Belt and Road Initiative as China expressed support to ASEAN’s own regional integration called ASEAN Economic Community.
“We are pioneering and expanding our areas of cooperation and we will continue our relations to keep up with times,” Liu said.
Amid rising protectionism, Liu said China and ASEAN need to work together in order to advance economic globalization, deepen regional cooperation and advance regional integration.
During the meeting, the senior officials also reviewed with satisfaction the progress of other cooperation like in trade and investment, maritime cooperation and tourism cooperation.
In 2016, China-ASEAN’s two-way trade reached USD 452.2 billion with China as the largest trading partner of the region which include the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Brunei, Myanmar, Singapore, Laos and Cambodia.
Chee Wee Kiong, Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Singapore and coordinator of China-ASEAN relations, said China-ASEAN’s target is for the two-way trade to hit USD 1 trillion and investment by USD 150 billion by 2020.
“Trade and economic continue to be the mainstays of China-ASEAN relations. Both sides reiterated their commitment to strengthen their cooperation in trade and investment to bring China-ASEAN closer to realizing these twin goals,” Chee, also co-chair of the meeting, said during the joint press conference.
Last year, two-way tourist visit between China and ASEAN hit 38 million, including 27 million Chinese tourists.
Chee thanked the town of Guiyang for hosting the 23rd ASEAN-China Senior Officials’ Consultation as well as the 14th Senior Officials’ Meeting on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) last Thursday.
The ASEAN-China senior officials had achieved another milestone after completing the draft framework for the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC).
The draft framework for the COC will be submitted during the China-ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Conference to be held in the Philippines in August this year.
“The ASEAN strategic partnership with China is strong and substantive and both sides give greater importance to it. We are committed to working together to further deepen and broaden the cooperation,” Chee said.