Beijing, 28 March 2023 (TDI): On the 10th anniversary of China’s proposal to foster a closer China-ASEAN community, Foreign Minister Qin Gang met with the Secretary-General of ASEAN, Kao Kim Hourn.

During the meeting, he expressed the commitment of China to working together on regional order along with stability.

In a statement, Qin Gang highlighted that China’s policies, both domestic and foreign, will provide a powerful impetus for regional development and prosperity, given its focus on advancing national rejuvenation through Chinese modernization.

Furthermore, he also stated that China is eager to work with the organization in executing the Global Civilization Initiative and enhancing people-to-people exchanges.

Thus, he believed that these actions will serve as a boundless source of energy for cooperation that benefits both parties.

Regarding the implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), Qin expressed his hope that the partnership will prompt both China and ASEAN to capitalize on this opportunity.

As a result, the two sides will make substantial progress in negotiations on the Version 3.0 China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (FTA) swiftly.

Also, he stressed China’s willingness to collaborate with ASEAN members in eradicating external interference and fully implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.

“China is eager to reach an early agreement on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) to provide institutional assurances for establishing the South China Sea as a sea of peace, friendship, and cooperation,” he added.

Considering Myanmar as a significant member of the ASEAN family, he expressed China’s support for ASEAN in playing a constructive role in mediating Myanmar’s issue.

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In response, Kao Kim Hourn affirmed China as a good partner of ASEAN and showed a willingness to further strengthen cooperation with China in various fields and speed up negotiations on Version 3.0 China-ASEAN FTA as soon as possible.

Moreover, Kao Kim Hourn also appreciated China for supporting ASEAN centrality and its positive efforts in alleviating the situation in Myanmar. Therefore, he declared ASEAN’s willingness to collaborate with China in executing relevant initiatives.