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A New Chapter for the Asia-Pacific Region

Source: Science and Technology Daily| 2021-12-02 09:55:01| Author: QI Liming

"Hainan-ASEAN (Singapore)" of COSCO Shipping. (PHOTO:VCG)

Edited by QI Liming

ASEAN countries officially announced the establishment of a China-ASEAN Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in a joint statement on November 22, after the ASEAN-China Special Summit to Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations. Media reports from member states on the blueprint for ASEAN moving forward were upbeat about the road ahead.

Vietnam: strategic partnership most important summit outcome

According to The Star, the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership that ASEAN and China established recently is a testament of the achievements from mutual cooperation, respect and understanding by the two sides over the last 30 years, said Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

Pham said that ASEAN and China should continue enhancing strategic trust, promoting comprehensive cooperation, and multiplying achievements towards higher goals and greater benefits for bilateral relations.

Meanwhile, Deputy Foreign Minister and head of the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting (SOM), Vietnamese Nguyen Quoc Dung, said from the very beginning his country backed China's proposal to hold a special summit to celebrate the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-China dialogue relations and subsequently participated in the preparation and negotiations to achieve the Joint Statement of the summit.

"During the summit, PM Chinh underlined the core factors of cooperation, which among others, includes jointly maintaining peace, stability, and cooperation for development in an environment still full of uncertainties besides upholding attainments and further strengthening ties to effectively cope with emerging global challenges," he said as reported by the Vietnam News Agency.

According to Nguyen, the most important outcome of the summit was the establishment of the ASEAN-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

Thailand: blueprint leaves no one behind

According to Bangkok Post, ASEAN has granted China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership status. The bloc has overtaken the European Union (EU) as China's biggest trade partner, with ASEAN-China trade amounting for 732 billion USD (24 trillion baht).

China's top five trade partners are ASEAN, the EU, the U.S., Japan and South Korea. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha hopes to seek ways to build a secure, prosperous and sustainably inclusive future with ASEAN through a people-centric approach that, "Leaves no one behind."

Cambodia: multiple opportunities in blue economic partnership

Khmer Times reported that the establishment of the China-ASEAN partnership on blue economy is one of the important goals set in the China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership Vision 2030.

It is timely to launch cooperation on the blue economy, because this meets the development needs of countries and the region after COVID-19. It is conducive to enhancing the vitality and resilience of sustainable development and promoting economic recovery and improvement of people's livelihoods.

China and ASEAN are facing multiple opportunities in developing the blue economic partnership. The concept of sustainable ocean development has had a wide-ranging impact on regional countries.

Deepening cooperation in regional ocean governance has become a consensus among regional countries. Lots of achievements have been made in maritime economic cooperation between China and ASEAN countries. In this light, the foundation for the establishment of a blue economic partnership between the two parties has become increasingly solid.

According to The Manila Times, three decades on, the relationship between China and the ASEAN countries has become the "most dynamic model of cooperation" in the region and the world, said Cambodian officials and scholars.

Philippines: boding well for regional peace and security

As Manila Bulletin reported, regional stability is vital. The mutual interest of all concerned nations should receive close attention.

The ASEAN-China summit comes at a time when many countries are already transitioning into more benign scenarios that soften the harsh impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is hoped that economic recovery could be accelerated and enable the ASEAN peoples to resume their march toward greater prosperity.

Last year, ASEAN became China's top trading partner. Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong observed that this achievement has "become possible by both ASEAN and China actively contributing to and investing in an ASEAN-led regional architecture that is rules-based, open, inclusive and promotes free trade."


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