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China's top political advisor vows more cooperation with ASEAN countries

(Xinhua)

12:35, April 22, 2012

BANGKOK. April 21 (Xinhua) -- China's top political advisor Jia Qinglin on Saturday said China will join hands with Thailand and other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ( ASEAN) to promote east Asian cooperation.

Jia, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People' s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), made the remarks when addressing a banquet held here by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Thailand. More than 900 people from all walks of life attended the banquet.

Jia said China had always supported ASEAN's development and actively participated in east Asian cooperation since the establishment of their dialogue relationship in 1991.

As a big country outside the region, China took the lead in joining the ASEAN Treaty of Amity and Cooperation, establishing strategic partnership with ASEAN, signing free trade agreement and supporting the establishment of a non-nuclear zone. The two sides celebrated the 20th anniversary of dialogue relationship last year, when the bilateral trade volume reached a historic peak of 362.8 billion U.S. dollars. China was ASEAN's biggest trading partner and the two sides are sharing active cultural and people-to-people exchanges.

China and ASEAN, with their joint efforts, made important contribution for the peace, stability and prosperity of east Asia and the Asia-Pacific region, Jia said. He added that the Chinese government attached high importance to the strategic partnership with ASEAN, and was ready to promote their comprehensive exchanges and cooperation in the principle of building friendship and partnership with neighboring countries.

The Chinese government announced six-point proposals to deepen pragmatic cooperation with ASEAN in last year's summit marking the 20th anniversary of dialogue relations, including measures to expand trade and investment cooperation, strengthen infrastructure construction such as inter-connectivity, deepen financial cooperation, enhance practical maritime cooperation, strengthen technological and sustainable cooperation and more cooperation in social and civil areas.

Jia said these proposals mapped out a blueprint for the two sides' future cooperation and injected new vitality for the development of China-ASEAN relations.

He said east Asia is facing new opportunities and challenges as the world is undergoing great changes. East Asian countries including China and Thailand should cherish the region's hard-won good situation of development, abide by the principle of development, cooperation, reciprocity and win-win, cope with challenges in joint efforts and maintain the region's stability, harmony and sustainable development.

Jia added that China will continue to support the leading role of ASEAN in east Asian cooperation, adhere to the principle of consultation and taking into consideration of each side's concern. China was ready to promote a sustained, sound and stable development of the east Asian cooperation with countries outside the region on the basis of mutual respect, equality and reciprocity.

Thailand will be the coordinator country for China-ASEAN relations in this year. Jia said China was ready to work with Thailand and other ASEAN countries to jointly promote their strategic partnership, and contribute to a regional situation of peace, stability, equality, mutual trust, cooperation and win-win.

He added that China's implementation of the 12th Five-Year Plan will engender great investment and consumption demand. In the upcoming 5 years, China's import volume will reach 8 trillion U.S. dollars. Its annual overseas investment will exceed 100 billion U. S. dollars. These will bring important business opportunities for companies from Thailand and other ASEAN nations and benefit the region and the world.

Jia arrived in Bangkok, the second stop of his Thailand visit on Saturday afternoon. As invited by the Thai Senate, Jia has started his Thailand visit, which will also take him to Chiang Mai.

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