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Chinese, ASEAN leaders hail 25th anniversary of dialogue relationship

Editor: zhenglimin 丨Xinhua

07-19-2016 20:54 BJT

BEIJING, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Leaders of China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Tuesday exchanged congratulations to mark the 25th anniversary of the dialogue relationship between the two sides.

In a congratulatory message sent to Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, the ASEAN's rotating chair, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang noted that China and ASEAN are friendly neighbors linked by mountains and rivers.

China became ASEAN's dialogue partner in 1991. The two sides established a strategic partnership in 2003 and built the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area in 2010.

In the message, the Chinese premier said since the establishment of the dialogue relationship 25 years ago, the two sides have maintained mutual respect, understanding, trust and support.

The China-ASEAN relations have withstood various tests and the two-way cooperation has achieved plentiful fruits, bringing tangible benefits to the peoples of both sides, and setting up a paradigm of equal treatment and common development between countries of different sizes, Li said.

China congratulates the formal establishment of ASEAN Community and is glad to see a peace-loving, prosperous and vigorous ASEAN play a bigger role in international and regional affairs, he added.

China will as always support the integration process of ASEAN and its central role in regional cooperation. China is willing to work with the ASEAN to further two-way ties and jointly contribute to regional peace, stability and prosperity, Li added.

In his message, Thongloun said the ASEAN-China ties have made significant progress since the establishment of the dialogue relationship, as their cooperation gradually expands and deepens to cover political, security, economic, social and cultural fields.

Among the ASEAN's dialogue partners, China is the first to ink the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), and the first to become ASEAN's strategic partner, as the two-way comprehensive strategic cooperation continues to grow, the Lao prime minister said.

Looking forward to the summit marking the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the China-ASEAN dialogue relationship in September, Thongloun called on the two sides to take that opportunity to outline the direction of future cooperation and become closer, in order to realize the common goal of bringing benefits to the peoples of both sides.

The ASEAN is ready to deepen the strategic partnership with China, and thus contribute to promoting global peace, security, stability and prosperity and sustainable development of the region, he added.

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