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China Affirms Commitment to Regional Cooperation with Neighbors

China Affirms Commitment to Regional Cooperation with Neighbors

Beijing, April 09, 2024, The Europe Today: At a daily press briefing on Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning expressed China’s readiness to collaborate with neighboring countries to advance mutual interests and strengthen regional cooperation.

Mao highlighted a series of significant high-level visits from Southeast Asian countries to China throughout April. Notable visits included Indonesian President-elect Prabowo’s inaugural overseas trip, along with recent talks between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and officials from Laos, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam. This week also witnesses visits from dignitaries like Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand, Vietnamese National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue, and Singaporean Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat.

“These visits underscore the importance these countries attach to their relations with China,” Mao noted.

Mao emphasized that neighboring countries are a priority in China’s diplomatic agenda, underscoring the shared future of cooperation, friendship, and partnership with Southeast Asian nations. China has actively engaged in friendly collaboration, fostered mutual understanding and trust, and pursued common development in line with the principles of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit, and inclusiveness guiding its neighborhood diplomacy.

Highlighting the robust economic ties, Mao pointed out that China and ASEAN were each other’s largest trading partners for the fourth consecutive year in 2023. Trade between China and ASEAN reached 993.24 billion yuan in January and February this year, representing an 8.1 percent increase.

Mao emphasized the significance of Southeast Asian countries as key partners in Belt and Road cooperation, citing major projects such as the China-Laos Railway, Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway, and “Two Countries, Twin Parks” initiative with Malaysia, which have spurred economic growth and benefited the region’s people.

The spokesperson noted mutual visa exemption arrangements between China and Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand, underscoring ongoing efforts to enhance mutual understanding and people-to-people exchanges during the China-ASEAN Year of People-to-People Exchanges.

“This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. We are committed to upholding these principles, fostering amity, sincerity, mutual benefit, and inclusiveness, expanding converging interests, and collectively ensuring a peaceful, safe, and prosperous Asia,” Mao reiterated.

China looks forward to advancing cooperation with neighboring countries to promote regional peace, security, prosperity, and harmonious relations for all.