China emphasises importance of ASEAN ties

12 tháng 04. 2024

The Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry has highlighted the significance of its relationships with Southeast Asian countries at a recent press conference in Beijing.

“China and Southeast Asian countries are good neighbors, good friends and good partners with a shared future,” the ministry’s spokesperson Mao Ning said in a statement.

Among the high-profile visits she noted was that of Indonesian president-elect Prabowo Subianto, who attended separate meetings with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Qiang on April 1.

His visit had followed discussions between Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi and his counterparts from Vietnam, Laos and Timor-Leste, according to the statement.

Regarding economic ties, Mao said China and ASEAN marked the fourth consecutive year of being each other’s largest trading partners in 2023.

She added that in the first two months of 2024, trade between the two regions had reached 993.2 billion yuan (US$137.35 billion), an 8.1 percent increase from the previous year.

Mao also highlighted collaboration on development projects in ASEAN states under China’s Belt and Road Initiative, such as the China-Laos Railway and Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail, as catalysts for regional economic growth.

As regards the tourism industry, “Mutual visa exemption is realized between China and the three Southeast Asian countries of Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand,” she said.

“Various events will also be held during the China-ASEAN Year [of People-to-People] Exchanges to enhance mutual understanding and build closer ties between the two sides.”