China-ASEAN strate­gic part­ner­ship aims at shared fu­ture for Asia-Pa­cific

Global Times US Edition - - FORUM - By Xie Mei­hua and Zhao Qing The au­thors are writ­ers with the Xinhua News Agency. opin­[email protected] glob­al­

China and the As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions (ASEAN) adopted Wed­nes­day the China-ASEAN Strate­gic Part­ner­ship Vi­sion 2030, widely seen as an ideal model of co­op­er­a­tion in the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion.

The vi­sion comes in a year that marks the 15th an­niver­sary of the China-ASEAN strate­gic part­ner­ship, re­flect­ing the com­mon as­pi­ra­tion of both sides to build a re­gion of en­dur­ing peace and sta­bil­ity.

This new co­op­er­a­tion frame­work from the two sides is sup­ported by the three pil­lars of po­lit­i­cal and se­cu­rity co­op­er­a­tion, eco­nomic ties and peo­pleto-peo­ple ex­changes.

In 2003, China and ASEAN de­cided to es­tab­lish their strate­gic part­ner­ship, ush­er­ing in a new chap­ter in their re­la­tions. Over the past 15 years, the part­ner­ship has en­dured a chang­ing in­ter­na­tional land­scape and co­op­er­a­tion con­tin­ues to de­liv- er real ben­e­fits to the coun­tries and peo­ples of the re­gion.

China and ASEAN are firmly com­mit­ted to good-neigh­bor­li­ness and friend­ship while en­hanc­ing po­lit­i­cal and se­cu­rity ties to cre­ate sta­bil­ity across the Asia-Pa­cific.

Un­der this part­ner­ship, the two sides have prop­erly man­aged sen­si­tive is­sues and dis­putes through di­a­logue and ne­go­ti­a­tion in or­der to keep their re­la­tion­ship on track.

While first im­ple­ment­ing the Dec­la­ra­tion on the Con­duct of Par­ties in the South China Sea (DOC), China and ASEAN ar­rived at a sin­gle draft ne­go­ti­at­ing text of the Code of Con­duct (COC) in the South China Sea in Au­gust this year. Ten­sions in the South China Sea have sig­nif­i­cantly cooled down, gen­er­at­ing pos­i­tive re­gional mo­men­tum.

Break­throughs have also been made in mar­itime co­op­er­a­tion. Both held their firstever large-scale joint ex­er­cises on mar­itime search and res­cue in Oc­to­ber 2017 and first-ever mar­itime drills in Oc­to­ber this year.

The two con­tinue to work to­gether on fight­ing ter­ror­ism, dis­as­ter re­lief, com­bat­ing transna­tional crimes and deal­ing with cross-bor­der com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases and other chal­lenges.

China and ASEAN both pro­mote trade and in­vest­ment lib­er­al­iza­tion, an ap­proach that has pro­vided the back­bone and en­gine for de­vel­op­ment and pros­per­ity in the re­gion.

The China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (FTA), the largest re­gional FTA in the world in terms of pop­u­la­tion, went into ef­fect in 2010, re­mov­ing tar­iffs on more than 90 per­cent of goods traded be­tween China and ASEAN mem­bers: In­done­sia, Malaysia, the Philip­pines, Sin­ga­pore, Thai­land, Brunei, Cam­bo­dia, Laos, Myan­mar and Viet­nam. More­over, an up­dated FTA was ham­mered out in late 2015, fur­ther fa­cil­i­tat­ing trade, scal­ing up bi­lat­eral in­vest­ment and en­cour­ag­ing tech­no­log­i­cal co­op­er­a­tion.

China and ASEAN are now work­ing to­gether to speed up es­tab­lish­ing the Re­gional Com­pre­hen­sive Eco­nomic Part­ner­ship, a pro­posed FTA made up of the 10 ASEAN mem­ber states and its six FTA part­ners – China, Aus­tralia, In­dia, Ja­pan, South Korea and New Zealand, in or­der to fur­ther fa­cil­i­tate trade and in­vest­ment in the re­gion.

Trade be­tween China and ASEAN coun­tries hit a record high in 2017, to­tal­ing $514.8 bil­lion in value, the fastest pace of growth be­tween China and any of its ma­jor trad­ing part­ners, ac­cord­ing to the Chi­nese Min­istry of Com­merce.

Based on the prin­ci­ple of col­lab­o­ra­tion, China and ASEAN have worked to align the for­mer’s Belt and Road ini­tia­tive with the lat­ter’s de­vel­op­ment plans.

Con­nec­tiv­ity projects in­clude the China-Laos Rail­way, the China-Thai­land high-speed rail­way, and In­done­sia’s Jakarta-Ban­dung high-speed rail­way.

China and ASEAN have ad­vo­cated peo­ple-to-peo­ple ex­changes and mu­tual learn­ing among their dif­fer­ent and nu­mer­ous civ­i­liza­tions. Ties have rapidly de­vel­oped in the ar­eas of cul­ture, ed­u­ca­tion, tourism, me­dia, sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy, en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, dis­as­ter re­lief, poverty re­duc­tion and youth, among oth­ers.

Com­ment­ing on the Chi­naASEAN Strate­gic Part­ner­ship Vi­sion 2030, Phay Siphan, Cam­bo­dia’s sec­re­tary of state and spokesman for the Coun­cil of Min­is­ters, said the vi­sion is a con­crete roadmap for both sides to work to­gether to build a closer com­mu­nity with a shared fu­ture

He stressed that the Chi­naASEAN strate­gic part­ner­ship “should serve as a model for coun­tries all over the world”.

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