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People's Daily Online>>Foreign Affairs

China, ASEAN share common interests

By Mei Xinyu (People's Daily Overseas Edition)

18:38, December 30, 2011

Edited and translated by People's Daily Online

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping's visit in Vietnam and Thailand came to a successful conclusion and China signed 14 bilateral cooperation agreements with them in economic, trade, financial, media, cultural, and other areas. It fully reflects that China attaches great importance to its relations with Vietnam, Thailand and the whole Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

ASEAN is the region with most overseas Chinese and the economic and social relations between China and the ASEAN are very close. The history and geographic position decide that the ASEAN is the first-choice partner for China to establish free trade zones.

The special economic and trade relations between China and the ASEAN are important and have made significant progresses. Since 1990, the annual trade volume between China and the ASEAN has been increasing by more than 20 percent on average, the trade volume reached 292.8 billion yuan in 2010 and the trade volume of the first 10 months of 2011 was 25.1 percent higher than that of same period of 2010.

The trade between China and the ASEAN are carried out based on the principle of equality and mutual benefit and China and the ASEA had already formed a mutual-benefit work division system a long time ago.

Western media has called China a rival of the ASEAN in the export market and investments before China's accession to the WTO. Four years later after the entry however, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative released a report saying that China's growth in exports to the United States is never a zero-sum game against East Asia, as China bears more responsibilities in the final assembly line.

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