|Premier Li Keqiang Attends the 25th China-ASEAN Summit|
On the afternoon of November 11, 2022 local time, Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council attended the 25th China-ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Also attending the summit were Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen of Cambodia, the rotating chair of ASEAN, Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, President Joko Widodo of Indonesia, Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh of Laos, President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos of the Philippines, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha of Thailand, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh of Vietnam and Speaker Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun of the House of Representatives of the Malaysian Parliament. ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi was present.
Premier Li Keqiang said that in November last year, China and ASEAN held the Special Summit to Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of China-ASEAN Dialogue Relations, and inaugurated a comprehensive strategic partnership. At that summit, President Xi Jinping proposed jointly building a peaceful, safe and secure, prosperous, beautiful and amicable home. A new and promising chapter of China-ASEAN friendship and cooperation has been opened.
Premier Li Keqiang pointed out that the regional and international environments are undergoing profound and complex changes with rising uncertainties and destabilizing factors. China and ASEAN are comprehensive strategic partners with a shared future, and have stood together through thick and thin. Picking sides should not have to be our choice. Openness and cooperation are the viable way in meeting common challenges. China takes ASEAN as a high priority in its neighborhood diplomacy, and supports ASEAN's community-building and ASEAN centrality in East Asian cooperation. China is ready to work with ASEAN to stay focused on development and cooperation and build a closer China-ASEAN community with a shared future. Li Keqiang made the following proposals:
- Forge a stronger consensus on development cooperation. Both sides should better synergize the development strategies, and seize the implementation of the Annex to the China-ASEAN Plan of Action 2021-2025: Advancing China-ASEAN Comprehensive Strategic Partnership as an opportunity to improve the quality and efficiency of bilateral practical cooperation. China will set up a special loan on China-ASEAN common development, and stands ready to intensify bilateral cooperation on post-pandemic recovery.
- Continue to bolster the drivers for development. Both sides should further tap the potential of cooperation. Trade between China and ASEAN has grown against the odds of COVID-19 in the past three years. The two sides have become each other's largest trading partners. Both sides should use the opportunity of the official launch of negotiations on a new round of upgrade of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area to raise the quality and level of trade and investment cooperation. The Chinese side has set up the China-ASEAN Investment Cooperation Fund to support major infrastructure and energy projects in ASEAN Efforts should be made to raise the efficiency of customs clearance and keep as many ports of entry open as possible. China will launch the China-ASEAN Digital Talents Training Project to train 1,000 professionals for ASEAN countries in the next three years.
- Continue to consolidate the underlying support for development. China will accelerate the establishment of the China-ASEAN Public Health Research and Development Collaborating Center, and implement the China-ASEAN Human Resource Quality Improvement Program.
Premier Li Keqiang noted that over the past two decades since the signing of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), by committing to the full and effective implementation of the DOC, China and ASEAN countries have gradually identified an effective pathway for enhancing trust and managing differences, gained good experience of dialogue, cooperation, and joint governance, and maintained overall peace and stability in the South China Sea. China welcomes the release of the Joint Statement on the 20th Anniversary of the DOC at this meeting and highly commends the positive progress made in the consultations on a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC). China and ASEAN have full confidence, wisdom and capacity to take the key to the South China Sea issue firmly in their own hands. China stands ready to work with ASEAN countries to properly handle the South China Sea issue in keeping with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and jointly serve as the defender of peace, builder of friendship and champion of cooperation in the South China Sea.
Premier Li Keqiang said that China will keep to its foreign policy goals of upholding world peace and promoting common development, remain committed to an independent foreign policy of peace, to peaceful development and to the fundamental national policy of opening-up, and work to grow friendship and cooperation with all countries.
Premier Li Keqiang pointed out that on the platform of China-ASEAN summits, China has proposed more than 160 important cooperation initiatives in the last ten years, and more than 99.5 percent of them have been implemented. China-ASEAN relationship benefits both sides. The two sides are good neighbors who will always be there for each other, good friends that can be counted on, and good partners that no one can set apart. China has every confidence in the future of the China-ASEAN relationship, and believes that bilateral friendship and cooperation will enjoy broader prospects, and the region that both sides all call home will see an even brighter future.
Leaders of ASEAN countries attending the summit said that China has made important contributions to the common prosperity of the region through its sustainable development. Over the past 30-plus years, ASEAN-China relations have yielded fruitful results on the basis of mutual respect and win-win cooperation. The relationship has become the most dynamic one among ASEAN dialogue partnerships, setting a fine example of regional cooperation, and making important contributions to regional and world stability and prosperity. ASEAN highly appreciates China's continuous support for ASEAN centrality and solidarity, and thanks China for its tremendous help for ASEAN countries' pandemic response. ASEAN is ready to work with China to further tap the potential of cooperation, upgrade the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area, and expand cooperation in fields such as digital economy, infrastructure construction, information and communications, ecological conservation and environmental protection, food security, and education and culture, so as to continuously push forward the ASEAN-China comprehensive strategic partnership. ASEAN stays committed to the full and effective implementation of the DOC, applauds the progress made in the COC consultations, and looks forward to the early conclusion of an effective and substantive COC consistent with international law.
The summit adopted the China-ASEAN Joint Statement on Strengthening Common and Sustainable Development, the Joint Statement on the 20th Anniversary of the DOC, the China- ASEAN Joint Statement on Food Security Cooperation and other outcome documents. The summit welcomed the adoption of the Annex to the China-ASEAN Plan of Action 2021-2025: Advancing China-ASEAN Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, and declared the year 2023 the China-ASEAN Year of Cooperation on Agricultural Development and Food Security.
Xiao Jie attended the summit.