BEIJING — Premier Li Keqiang and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong exchanged congratulatory messages on Oct 8, commemorating the 15th anniversary of the establishment of China-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) strategic partnership.
In the message, Premier Li said that China in 2003 acceded to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, and is the first country to build a strategic partnership with ASEAN.
With the concerted efforts of China and ASEAN countries in the past 15 years, the development of bilateral relations have maintained a healthy and stable momentum, said Premier Li, adding that the two sides have enjoyed deepening political mutual trust, closer economic and trade ties, fruitful mutual-beneficial cooperation and dynamic people-to-people exchanges.
The Premier said the development of China-ASEAN relations have brought tangible benefits to the 2 billion people of the two sides and promoted regional and global peace, stability and prosperity.
Noting that China-ASEAN relations have entered the mature period for quality upgrading and are faced with new opportunities, Premier Li said China has always regarded ASEAN as a priority in its neighboring diplomacy and is willing to be ASEAN’s good partner for common development, jointly-building peace, openness and win-win progress, innovation, inclusiveness and mutual learning.
China is ready to work with ASEAN to lift their strategic partnership to a higher level, build a stronger community with a shared future and bring their relations to an even brighter future, said Premier Li.
Lee, in his message, said that over the past 15 years, the cooperation between the two sides has been deepened and broadened around three pillars, namely political security, economy and trade, social and people-to-people exchanges.
ASEAN and China are committed to enhancing their connectivity and promoting the alignment between the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 and the Belt and Road Initiative, Lee said.
The prime minister is looking forward to the adoption of the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership Vision 2030 at the 21st ASEAN-China Summit, which, he hopes, will set the strategic direction for the future development of bilateral relations.
Singapore is now the rotating chair of ASEAN.