Current Location: sh-obor > Major Events > Content

China, ASEAN form comprehensive strategic partnership as Xi chairs summit

2021-11-23 15:52:08 Xinhua News Agency

China and ASEAN agreed to elevate their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership at the special summit to commemorate the 30th anniversary of their dialogue relations.

"China is ready to launch the Action Plan on China-ASEAN Green Agriculture to make our countries' agricultural sector more resilient and sustainable," he said.

ECONOMIC, TRADE COOPERATION

Economic and trade cooperation has been a highlight in China-ASEAN cooperation. Trade volume between the two sides jumped from less than 8 billion U.S. dollars in 1991 to 684.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, an increase of more than 80 times. The two sides became each other's largest trading partner for the first time in 2020.

Xi called for harnessing the role of the RCEP, beginning work toward a new round of upgrading of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area at an early date, and enhancing the level of trade and investment liberalization and facilitation.

Signed in November last year, the RCEP, a mega trade deal between 10 ASEAN member states plus China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia and New Zealand, will enter into force on Jan. 1, 2022.

"These are economically very dire times in the aftermath of the pandemic..., and the RCEP is one such accelerating agent because it enables us to practice a broader and deeper degree of free trade of both goods and services," said Oh Ei Sun, principal advisor for Malaysia's Pacific Research Center.

Xi urged the two sides to expand cooperation in new areas like digital and green economy and build joint demonstration zones for economic innovative development.

"China has a vast domestic market that will always be open to ASEAN countries. China is ready to import more quality products from ASEAN countries, including buying up to 150 billion U.S. dollars worth of agricultural products from ASEAN in the next five years," he said.

PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE EXCHANGES

Despite the impact of COVID-19, the people-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and ASEAN have maintained a strong momentum.

The personnel exchanges exceeded 65 million in 2019, and there were nearly 4,500 flights between China and Southeast Asia every week. Meanwhile, the two sides have exchanged more than 200,000 students and formed more than 200 pairs of sister cities.