In early October, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Indonesia and Malaysia and attended the 2013 APECCEO Summit and the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) meeting. During his visit to Indonesia, Xi elaborated his vision of China-ASEAN relationship and highlighted the "China-ASEAN community of common destiny". Afterwards, Premier Li Keqiang visited three Southeast Asian nations and attended East Asia Summit (EAS). He raised two political consensuses and seven fields of cooperation, which were interpreted as the specific roadmap for the China-ASEAN community of common destiny.
Chief of China Institute of International Studies Qu Xing told GMW reporter that "community of common destiny" had been put forward as an independent notion for nearly two years, however, it was the first time that the notion was used to define the relationship between China and ASEAN countries by Chinese leaders. Professor Wang Yiwei of Institute of International Relations at Renmin University of China reckoned "community of common destiny" went comprehensively beyond "interests community". He explained further that "win-win" cooperation could be achived in various ways, however, the pursuit of common interests between a "big potato" and a "little one" might lead to economic dependence. Besides, political acknowledgement is another significance in bilateral and multilateral relation.
Chief of Regional Cooperation Research, Institute of Asia-Pacific at Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Wang Yuzhu also agreed on the transcendence of "the China-ASEAN community of common destiny". He told GMW reporter that "interests community" which refers to the convergence of interests and the maximization of common interests. Nevertheless, a broader and higher relationship which includes common identity in varuious fields, not only economy, but also interest relationship, way of thinking and values, is further expected.
China and ASEAN have wide common interests. During the last 20 years, from political mutual trust to strategic partnership, and further the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (FTA), the relationship between China and ASEAN tends to become mutually dependent and constantly deepening. In this rapidly-developing tendency, some underlying crisises were still out there, such as the leftover historical issues and the concern about China’s rise.
Qu Xing suggested that the notion of "China-ASEAN community of common destiny" is a sincere announcement concerning the above factors and based on the respect for the leadership of ASEAN countries.
Still, to build a community of common destiny takes time. Wang Yuzhu thought that it was not only the objective of the current government, but also the long-term goal of the cooperation between China and ASEAN countries. "to fufill the promise of community of common destiny, we should use practical action and strict self-restriction to enhance others' confidence and prove our words." he said.
"As long as China provides more sense of security, these countries could alleviate their concerns about safety." said Wang Yiwei, "Sense of security is the basis of identification. It's important to make ASEAN countries need China, rather than just accept and not worry about China. Therefore the destiny of China and ASEAN countries would actually be connected."
The last decade was named a "golden decade" between China and ASEAN, while now a far-seeing plan of the brand new "diamond decade" is also around the corner. With the goal of "community of common destiny", the future of the relationship between China and ASEAN countries is worth expaectation.
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