Guangming Online

China-ASEAN relations entering "period of maturity"

by Xie Meihua, Tai Beiping and Liu Tian

VIENTIANE, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- China and the 10 member states of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) vowed on Wednesday to manage their differences properly so as to commit themselves to national and regional development.

They agreed to further enhance people-to-people exchanges between the two sides to forge it as a new pillar for the further development of bilateral ties in the future.

Built on achievements in the political-security, economy and trade, and social-cultural fields over the past 25 years, the consensuses reached at the 19th China-ASEAN Summit demonstrated that China-ASEAN relations are entering the "period of maturity."

A joint statement on China-ASEAN senior diplomat's hot-line to address maritime emergencies, and a joint statement on accidental encounters between China and ASEAN in the South China Sea adopted at the summit bespoke the two sides' willingness and wisdom to solve their disputes and manage their differences properly, as well their confidence and ability to maintain peace and stability in the region.

The statements also send out strong signals that any attempt to interfere in the South China Sea issue and sow discord between China and ASEAN from those countries outside the region is doomed to failure.

People-to-people exchanges are a cornerstone in bilateral ties between China and ASEAN as the two sides share similarities in culture, religion, among others.

Boosting people-to-people ties between the two sides will further promote the connectivity and understanding between the peoples, thus laying solid foundation for an all-round cooperation between them.

Industrial capacity cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative has highlighted future cooperation between China and ASEAN as it is a feasible way to meet ASEAN's demand for more investment, technology and labor.

With the adoption of a joint statement on China-ASEAN industrial capacity cooperation, the two sides are expected to give full play to their respective strength and promote their cooperation in infrastructure, construction machinery, electricity, construction materials, communications, industrial parks, among others, to achieve win-win results.

After having in-depth discussions and wide-range exchange of views at the summit, China and ASEAN have also reached broad consensus on further cooperation and regional development.

China, which has always regarded ASEAN as a priority in its neighborly diplomacy, will continue to firmly support its integration, development efforts and the central role in regional cooperation. For its part, ASEAN will, as always, continue to attach great importance to developing ties with China and deepening cooperation in all fields.

Both sides also agreed to boost political mutual trust through strategic communications to further strengthen the foundation for cooperation and promote integrated development to achieve common prosperity and win-win cooperation so as to build a community of common destination.

The China-ASEAN partnership has already become the most dynamic one among ASEAN's relations with its dialogue partners.

With the consensuses and new strategies adopted by the two sides, the further development of China-ASEAN relations will continue to benefit their peoples and contribute to their prosperity as well as peace and stability in the region.

[ Editor: Zhang Zhou ]