|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Remarks on China-ASEAN Relations|
Q: Foreign Minister Wang Yi is about to attend the Foreign Ministers' Meetings on East Asian Cooperation and the commemorative activities for the 50th anniversary of the establishment of ASEAN. How does China view the current China-ASEAN relations and what are China's expectations for the China-ASEAN relations in the future?
A: The Chinese side sets great store by its friendly cooperation with ASEAN and regards ASEAN as a priority of its neighborhood diplomacy and a key region in advancing cooperation under the Belt and Road initiative. Since the establishment of China-ASEAN dialogue relations in 1991, with the concerted efforts of both sides, political mutual trust has been strengthened and fruitful outcomes have been reaped in pragmatic cooperation. The China-ASEAN relations have become the most dynamic and substantive pair of relations among ASEAN's relations with its dialogue partners. New progress has been made on maritime cooperation between China and ASEAN countries within the framework of the DOC and not long ago, the framework of the COC was concluded, which fully demonstrates our shared aspiration to maintain peace and stability of the South China Sea and creates a sound atmosphere for China-ASEAN cooperation.
This year is the 50th anniversary of the establishment of ASEAN and the China-ASEAN Year of Tourism Cooperation. Next year will mark the 15th anniversary of the establishment of China-ASEAN strategic partnership. The relations of the two sides are at an crucial juncture of building on the past achievements and ushering in the new phase of upgrading and elevation with new opportunities for growth. China stands ready to work with ASEAN countries, by bearing both the current situation and future in mind, to seek greater synergy between the Belt and Road initiative and the development strategies of ASEAN, deepen pragmatic cooperation, elevate the China-ASEAN strategic partnership and build a closer community of shared future with ASEAN. Meanwhile, China is willing to join hands with ASEAN countries to uphold the stability of the South China Sea which has not come by easily, steadily advance the consultation of the COC, promote maritime cooperation and jointly guide the East Asian regional cooperation so as to inject positive energy into regional integration and economic globalization.