BEIJING: China stands ready to work with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in an effort to further enrich the strategic partnership and usher in a new era of peace, development and cooperation for the region, Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.
Wang made the remarks in a recent interview with Xinhua news agency.
"Since its launch, China-ASEAN cooperation has always been results-oriented, pioneering and responsive to the trend of the times. It has become the most successful and vibrant example of regional cooperation," he said.
The Foreign Minister said the two sides became each other's largest trading partners for the first time in 2020. "We jointly pushed for the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which gave birth to the world's most promising free trade area with the largest population and biggest economic aggregate. "This is a historic breakthrough in China-ASEAN cooperation," he said.
Noting that China and ASEAN will celebrate the 30th anniversary of their dialogue relations in 2021, Wang said that Beijing looks forward to the new opportunities it will bring for enhancing relations between the two sides.
The State Councillor also called on the two sides to work together to defeat the raging COVID-19 pandemic, do their best to bolster regional economic recovery, and stay committed to sustainable development.
The ASEAN, founded in 1967, groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. (IANS)