Chinese premier lauds China-ASEAN relations at anniversary celebration
VIENTIANE, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said here Wednesday that relations between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have made great strides and effectively promoted regional peace, stability and prosperity.
Li made the remarks when attending a ceremony with ASEAN leaders to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of China-ASEAN dialogue relations.
China and ASEAN have valued the development and their cooperation in the principle of mutual respect, understanding, trust and support since 1991 when they established the dialogue relations, he said.
"The past 25 years have seen growing mutual trust and pragmatic achievements made between China and ASEAN," he said.
The premier added that China has always regarded ASEAN as an important force in safeguarding regional peace and stability and in promoting regional integration and world multi-polarization.
Li pledged to give ASEAN a priority in China's drive to develop its relations with neighboring countries, saying China will support the building of an ASEAN community, ASEAN's central role in regional cooperation, and its growing part to play in international and regional affairs.
China is willing to work with ASEAN nations to cement the strategic communication between the two sides, advance the 2+7 cooperation framework, and energetically promote people-to-people and cultural exchanges, he said.
He also vowed to continually inject new vigor into China-ASEAN relations and build a closer community for a shared future.
The premier's speech was echoed by ASEAN leaders, who praised the amazing achievements the two sides have made in the past 25 years and expressed confidence for their relations in a bright future.
ASEAN leaders said the development of relations with China would benefit ASEAN nations and are conducive to building an ASEAN community.
ASEAN is ready to cement the relations and tap new potential in promoting mutual political trust, deepening economic and trade cooperation, and expanding people-to-people and cultural exchanges with China, they said.
They looked forward to lifting China-ASEAN relations to a new level to promote regional peace and development.
In the ceremony held at the National Convention Center in Vientiane, Li and ASEAN leaders watched a short film chronicling China's growing relations with ASEAN in the last quarter of a century and looking into their bright prospects in the future.
Li and Laotian Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith also inaugurated a handbook titled "25 Years of ASEAN-China Dialogue and Cooperation: Facts and Figures."
Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, whose country is the coordinator of China-ASEAN relations, joined them to cut a commemorative cake.
The Chinese premier arrived in Laos Tuesday for the 19th China-ASEAN (10+1) leaders' meeting, the 19th meeting of the leaders of ASEAN-China, Japan and South Korea (10+3), and the 11th East Asia Summit.[ Editor: Zhang Zhou ]