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China-ASEAN cooperation sees notable progress: Chinese ambassador


11:18, November 12, 2011

HANOI, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- The comprehensive cooperation between China and the ASEAN has made notable progress since they established dialogues 20 years ago, making positive contributions to maintaining regional stability and promoting common prosperity, Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Kong Xuanyou told Xinhua in a recent interview prior to the upcoming 19th ASEAN Summit.

Over the past two decades, China-ASEAN relations have witnessed historic progress. The two sides have conducted effective all- round cooperation for development, continuously enhanced political mutual trust, and deepened economic integration. The practice has shown that China-ASEAN relations have become a model of friendly exchanges between nations in the region, which have brought tangible benefits to the people and made a valuable exploration to solve global peace and development issues, he said. The ambassador pointed out some enlightenment by the China-ASEAN relations. Firstly, the regional peace and development should always be the premise for the national relations. They should see each other as cooperative partners and take other's development as an opportunity, not a threat, as well as handle the existing problems through friendly consultations, and respect the right of each country to independently choose its development path.

Secondly, national relations should always aim for mutual benefit by practical cooperation in economy, culture, education, energy and other key areas, and jointly cope with traditional and non-traditional security threats.

Finally, the relations should bring benefits to the people of each country. People's support is a powerful driving force for the development of China-ASEAN relations. Improving people's well being is the fundamental goal of each country's policy makers, which is also an important experience between China and the ASEAN during the last two decades, as well as an important guarantee for sound and steady development of China-ASEAN relations in future.

In recent years, with the joint efforts of the ASEAN, China, Japan and South Korea, the "10 +3" cooperation has made great progress in breadth and depth, becoming the most dynamic cooperation mechanism in East Asia.

"The East Asian cooperation should continue to adhere to the ASEAN-led mechanism, as well as be inclusive and open to the whole world," Kong said, "all parties should continue to maintain the momentum of the '10+3' cooperation, in order to achieve their sustainable development and mutually beneficial cooperation between countries in the region."

Referring to the East Asia Summit officially expanding to the " 10+8" mechanism, Kong said, as an annual meeting of leaders in East Asia, the summit has created a new model and a new platform of regional cooperation. After six years of development, the summit has established a well-run mechanism, as well as principles of reaching a consensus through consultation, making steady progress and considering the benefits of all sides, defining five key areas of cooperation in energy, dealing with avian flu, finance, education, and disaster alleviation.

"The ASEAN should continue playing a leading role in the summit, as well as sticking to the established principles and cooperation in these fields after expanding to '10+8', especially in the context of current world economic instability, the spreading debt crisis of the U.S. and Europe, and widespread flooding in the region, which have negative impacts on the East Asian economy," he added.

Referring to the positive note of the promotion of the ASEAN integration process, Kong said to complete building the ASEAN Community by 2015 is an important political goal for ASEAN countries. Southeast Asian countries have made notable achievements in politics, economy and culture, maintained a peaceful and prosperous development since the ASEAN was established 44 years ago, becoming a major force in the world, especially after entering into the new century, the ASEAN integration process has been significantly accelerated.

Kong said that the ASEAN integration process is of great significance for the promotion of the East Asian integration, as the ASEAN is an important part of the East Asian integration. The ASEAN integration experience, including its political system, economic system and cultural difference, provides useful references to the East Asian integration process.

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