On April 7, 2014, the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 China-ASEAN Cultural Exchange Year was held in Beijing. Premier Li Keqiang sent a congratulatory message to the event.
Li Keqiang extended his congratulations on the opening of this Cultural Year and wished it a full success. Li Keqiang pointed out that China and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are connected by mountains and rivers, blending in culture and related by blood. In the long course of history, people of both sides have created a rich, colorful and splendid civilization which enjoys great prestige in the world, and they have developed diverse culture with regional characteristics, which have become the spiritual support and profound nourishment for the uninterrupted flourishing and sustained development of all countries in this region. Culture sets up a bridge of communication, opens the window to people’s hearts and strengthens the mutual understanding and friendship between peoples. It also plays a positive and unique role in the development of China-ASEAN relations.
Li Keqiang said that this year marks the beginning of the second decade for the strategic partnership between China and the ASEAN. The China-ASEAN relationship is standing at a new historical starting point. The Chinese government attaches great importance to the good-neighborly friendship and mutually-beneficial cooperation with the ASEAN, and hopes, through this Cultural Exchange Year, to demonstrate the fruitful results of people-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and the ASEAN, present the brilliant achievements of cultural and artistic development of both sides and set up a larger stage for the friendly cooperation among artists and peoples of China and all ASEAN countries.
Li Keqiang said that the Chinese side is willing to work hand in hand with the ASEAN to keep the tree of friendship evergreen, to open a new chapter in the development of relations between the two sides and build a more close-knitted China-ASEAN community with a common destiny, so as to make greater contribution for peace and development in Asia and the world.
President U Thein Sein of Myanmar, the rotating presidency of the ASEAN, and Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra of Thailand, coordinator of China-ASEAN relations, sent their congratulatory messages to the opening ceremony.