JAKARTA, April 10 (Xinhua) -- Marking the excellence of 25 years of being dialogue partners, China and ASEAN countries will further enhance the strategic partnership by enhancing mutual respect, understanding, trust, support and pragmatic cooperation.
The commitment was made at the 18th China-ASEAN Joint Cooperation Committee (ACJCC) meeting held in ASEAN Secretariat here on Monday, attended by officials from the two sides.
The meeting was co-chaired by Chinese Ambassador to ASEAN Xu Bu and Chen Han-cheng, Permanent Representative of Singapore to ASEAN, China-ASEAN Coordinators, Permanent representatives of the ten ASEAN countries, senior officials of the ASEAN Secretariat and representatives from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Tourism Administration.
Addressing the meeting, Xu Bu said that two-way trade has soared to 452.2 billion U.S. dollars last year. China has become ASEAN's largest trading partner, while ASEAN is China's third largest trading partner, the fourth largest export market and the second largest source of imports.
In the meantime, people-to-people exchanges have been greatly enhanced thanks to rapid expansion of direct flights serving China and ASEAN countries, with around 2,700 flights per week, he said.
Xu said that ASEAN remains a priority in China's neighborhood diplomacy, adding that China has been a staunch, steady and sincere friend and partner for ASEAN as they move towards more competitive, inclusive and integrating region.
"Therefore we will continue this firm support to ASEAN centrality in regional cooperation and support ASEAN's greater role in international and regional affairs," he added.
China is willing to work with ASEAN to actively promote the implementation of the 2+7 Cooperation Framework and China-ASEAN strategic partnership third "action plan" to deepen strategic mutual trust, strengthen cooperation in key areas to promote China-ASEAN relations into higher quality, as well as create a community of common destiny for China and ASEAN, he said.
Speaking in his turn, Chen Han-cheng said that ASEAN highly appreciates achievements resulted from the development of China-ASEAN relations and cooperation in various fields throughout last year.
He added that ASEAN appreciates China's long-term support for ASEAN development and ASEAN Community building.
"ASEAN countries believe that China's success is in line with the interests of the region and welcome China to play a more active role in promoting regional stability, development and prosperity," Chen Han-cheng said at the meeting.
Permanent Representatives of Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam spoke highly of the positive achievements of ASEAN's cooperation with China in various sectors, hoping that ASEAN and China should enhance pragmatic cooperation into higher level.