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China, ASEAN agree to promote economic cooperation, push forward RCEP

Updated: May 8,2018 2:33 AM     Xinhua

JAKARTA — Visiting Premier Li Keqiang on May 7 met with Lim Jock Hoi, secretary-general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), with both sides vowing to strengthen economic cooperation and reach the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) at an early date.

China highly values the cooperation with ASEAN and firmly supports the building of the ASEAN community, Premier Li said.

China supports ASEAN’s central role in regional cooperation and supports it to play a bigger role in building an open and inclusive regional mechanism, he added.

China is willing to take the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the China-ASEAN strategic partnership as an opportunity to build a higher-level strategic partnership, and build a closer community of shared destiny, the Premier said.

He pointed out that as developing economies, China and ASEAN enjoy huge cooperation potential.

Under the current economic circumstance of the world, both sides should firmly safeguard multilateralism and free trade, push forward regional cooperation, and promote the RCEP to obtain substantial progress, Premier Li said.

China and ASEAN should continue to view each other’s development as an opportunity, and align each other’s development strategy under the principle of mutual respect, mutual benefit and win-win, in a bid to build a peaceful and friendly common homeland, the Premier suggested.

For his part, Lim said ASEAN appreciates China’s long-term support to its integration process.

ASEAN is willing to actively dovetail with China their development strategies, further deepen economic and trade cooperation, frequent people-to-people exchanges, jointly safeguard a multilateral trade system on the basis of openness and rules, support signing the RCEP at an early date, so as to bring more benefit to the people in China and ASEAN countries, and contribute to the prosperity and stability in the region and the world, Lim said.

Premier Li visited the ASEAN Secretariat in the Indonesian capital Jakarta on May 7 to underscore China’s commitment to its relations with the 10-member community. He also attended celebration activities of the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the China-ASEAN strategic partnership.