Li's Myanmar tour to open new chapter in China-ASEAN ties

Updated: 2014-11-10 21:34


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How to make a breakthrough in the next ten years relies on three aspects.

Firstly, implementing the already elaborated strategies and initiatives is the basis.

At the 17th China-ASEAN leaders' meeting, the Chinese side will continue to promote the building of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and actively implement the "2+7 Cooperation Framework," Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said.

At the 17th ASEAN-China, Japan and the Republic of Korea leaders' meeting, China will stress the implementation of the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Work Plan 2013-2017, Liu said.

At the 9th East Asia Summit, China will urge all concerned parties to implement the action plan of the Phnom Penh Declaration on the East Asia Summit Development Initiative, Liu said.

Secondly, China hopes all concerned parties will accelerate the process of regional economic integration and make efforts toward the goal of East Asian Economic Community in 2020, Liu said.

China hopes all related parties will enhance communication and cooperation in finance, ocean, security, culture, and inter-connectivity and mutual access, while fostering cooperation in disaster management as well as countering terrorism, infectious disease and climate change, he added.

Ruan Zongze, vice president of China Institute of International Studies, said the breakthrough should be made in building an upgraded version of China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, enhancing inter-connectivity and mutual access, and promoting people-to-people exchange and maritime cooperation.

Chinese Assistant Commerce Minister Tong Daochi said China and ASEAN in September held the first round of negotiations on upgrading the bilateral free trade area and both parties will speed up negotiations to yield fruits at an early date.

Thirdly, how to realize strategic coherence is significant to both China and ASEAN.

The initiative on the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, an important strategic path to connect China and ASEAN countries, is a Chinese version of global inter-connectivity and mutual access with multi-party inclusiveness, said Zhai Kun, a Peking University professor.

The initiative has drawn positive response from some ASEAN countries such as Thailand and Myanmar. Indonesia put forward a plan to use its maritime assets, which has much coherence with China's initiative, Ruan said.


After attending the leaders' meeting on East Asia cooperation, Li will pay a visit to Myanmar on Friday, his first since taking office.

In a meeting with Myanmar's President U Thein Sein in Beijing Saturday, Li said that he expects his visit to build up political consensus on the development of China-Myanmar relations of good neighborliness and friendship, promote construction of the economic corridor linking Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar, and push forward cooperation in related major projects of inter-connectivity and mutual access.

He also expressed the hope that his visit can cement the people-to-people and non-governmental exchanges between the two countries, so as to elevate the China-Myanmar comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership to a new high and benefit the two peoples.

Zhang Yunling, director of Academic Division of International Studies under Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, expressed high expectations about Li's visit and the future development of the China-Myanmar relations.

Ruan Zongze, vice president of China Institute of International Studies, said the visit will enhance mutual political trust between China and ASEAN as well as between China and Myanmar, manage and control differences in an approach of development and turn differences into potential aspects for cooperation, in efforts to usher in a new phase in the China-ASEAN and China-Myanmar relations.

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