|Li Keqiang Attends the 22nd China-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit|
On the morning of November 3, 2019 local time, Premier Li Keqiang attended the 22nd China-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Bangkok, Thailand. Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Thailand and the rotating chair of ASEAN; President Rodrigo Roa Duterte of the Philippines, Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, President Joko Widodo of Indonesia, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc of Vietnam, State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith of Laos and Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia attended the summit. Li Keqiang and Prayut Chan-o-cha co-chaired the summit.
Li Keqiang said in his speech, since the inception of our dialogue relationship, China and ASEAN have brought benefits to each other and the wider region. China always supports ASEAN's central role in East Asian cooperation. President Xi Jinping called for building a closer China-ASEAN community with a shared future. China and ASEAN have always respected each other and treated each other as equals, properly resolved disputes through dialogue and consultation, and maintained regional peace and stability. We have firmly embraced shared progress and promoted sustained high-level economic and trade cooperation. By pursuing mutual learning between different cultures, we have consolidated the public opinion foundation and promoted closer people-to-people bonds. Our mutual visits exceeded 57 million last year.
Li Keqiang pointed out, the current mounting downward pressure on the global economy brings new severe challenges to all countries. China and ASEAN countries should jointly uphold multilateralism and free trade, withstand risks and realize common development. China and ASEAN countries need to follow a win-win approach and upgrade economic and trade cooperation at a faster pace. We need to push for an early conclusion of the negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to lay a solid foundation for economic integration in East Asia. We should well implement the protocol on the upgraded China-ASEAN Free Trade Area to promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. We should enhance strategic mutual trust and safeguard peace and stability in the region. The Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) is an upgraded version of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC). Last year, the Chinese side proposed working to conclude the COC in three years' time. We have completed the first reading ahead of schedule, and commenced the second reading. It is hoped that all sides will follow the principles of the DOC, actively carry forward the consultations according to the previously agreed timetable, meet each other halfway, and safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea. We need to nurture everlasting friendship and forge closer people-to-people ties. Cooperation in media, health, education and tourism will be enhanced. China will train 1,000 ASEAN administrative and specialized personnel in the health sector in the next three years, and support projects including the China-ASEAN Young Leaders Scholarship to promote people-to-people bonds.
Li Keqiang said, the Chinese side will keep to the path of peaceful development, pursue a win-win strategy of opening-up. China is willing to synergize the Belt and Road Initiative with the development strategies of ASEAN as a whole and its members as well. China will accelerate the construction of the existing economic corridors, promote infrastructure connectivity cooperation, as well as support the building of the Brunei Darussalam Indonesia Malaysia Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area. We need to promote innovation cooperation in such areas as digital economy, artificial intelligence, big data and cyber security, and forge a China-ASEAN partnership on blue economy to enhance exchanges and cooperation on such areas as marine ecosystem preservation, ocean industry, clean and renewable energy and technology for water resources management.
At the summit, ASEAN leaders expressed congratulations on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, saying that the ASEAN-China partnership is the most dynamic one in all the partnerships ASEAN has forged. Fully affirming the new cooperation progress over the past year, the leaders thanked China for supporting ASEAN's central role in regional cooperation. ASEAN countries stand ready to take an active role in jointly building the Belt and Road Initiative, expand cooperation in such areas as connectivity, scientific and technological innovation, e-commerce, smart cities and blue economy, and increase two-way investment so that the ASEAN-China trade volume can exceed 1 trillion US dollars at an early date. ASEAN countries are willing to jointly uphold multilateralism and free trade. All sides spoke positively of the new progress made in the COC negotiations, and stand ready to maintain the momentum, and advance the negotiation process, jointly safeguard regional peace and stability and promote regional development and prosperity.
The summit announced the formulation of the Plan of Action to Implement the Joint Declaration on China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity 2021-2025, and made statements on the Belt and Road Initiative, smart cities, media exchanges and cooperation. It announced that the year 2020 has been designated as the China-ASEAN Year of Digital Economy Cooperation. Leaders attending the summit watched a video clip on the China-ASEAN Young Leaders Scholarship.
State Councilor and Secretary-General of the State Council Xiao Jie was present.