Asia

Next stage begins with China, Asean upgrading ties: China Daily editorial

BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – Over the past 30 years, China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) have jointly seized the opportunities of economic globalisation to achieve leapfrog development together.

In this process, the two sides have jointly upheld the principles of extensive consultations, joint contributions and shared benefits. And in doing so, they have ensured regional stability, spearheaded economic integration in East Asia, and explored a bright path of good-neighbourliness and win-win cooperation.

Always looking out for each other, their relations have withstood and been strengthened by the tests of the times. They have stood with each other in amity and with sincerity through the Asian financial crisis, the international financial crisis, the Covid-19 pandemic and other challenges, and with each new challenge forged a stronger sense that they form a community with a shared future.

This shared experience has been invaluable, as President Xi Jinping observed on Monday (Nov 22).

Speaking via video link at the Special Summit to Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of China-Asean Dialogue Relations, he called it a “shared asset” that the two sides “need to doubly cherish” and uphold over the long run.

The comprehensive strategic partnership that the two sides have established will help them do that. Announcing the upgrading of their relations as chairman of the summit, President Xi said that it will inject new impetus into their joint efforts to maintain peace and stability in the region and promote prosperity.

The summit was thus not only a review of the past trials, tribulations and triumphs of their relations, but also a preview of the next stage of their extraordinary journey. The concrete proposals Xi put forward at the meeting, which all tap into the development complementarity of the two sides.

Ranging from more vaccines, funds and research to tame the novel coronavirus to more funding, freer trade and closer exchanges for future cooperation to pursue high-quality, sustainable and green development, they not only indicate the significance that China attaches to substantiating its comprehensive strategic partnership with the Asean member states, but also their shared responsibilities as the builders and guardians of the region’s future.

The measures highlight that by making their cooperation more extensive and intensive they can build on what has been achieved and deliver real benefits and a greater sense of gain to peoples in the region and beyond.

As Xi noted, China was, is, and will always be Asean’s good neighbour, good friend and good partner. Since the United States is trying to sow discord in the region, China and Asean should make joint efforts to safeguard stability in the South China Sea and make it a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation with no loopholes left for external troublemakers to take advantage of.

Working together to promote the peaceful development of the region will ensure that the region remains a friendly, beautiful and prosperous shared home for all peoples in the region.

  • China Daily is a member of The Straits Times media partner Asia News Network, an alliance of 23 news media titles.

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