China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) jointly announced Monday the establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership -- a new milestone in the history of China-ASEAN relations.
The move, announced at the ASEAN-China Special Summit to Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations, is set to inject new impetus into peace, stability, prosperity and development of the region and the world and usher in a new era of China-ASEAN cooperation.
China and ASEAN established dialogue relations in 1991. Over the past three decades, the two sides have been committed to promoting regional stability and prosperity through comprehensive cooperation that has brought tangible benefits to people in the region.
During this period, China and ASEAN have seen remarkable progress in connectivity, economic and trade exchanges, people-to-people exchanges and other fields, especially cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Trade between China and ASEAN has skyrocketed by 85 times since the two sides established their dialogue relations in 1991. Last year, China remained ASEAN's largest trading partner for 12 consecutive years, while ASEAN became China's largest trading partner.
Free trade, the booster for the steady progress of China-ASEAN bilateral relations, has effectively promoted the process of regional economic integration.
As a valuable experience of the fruitful cooperation, China and ASEAN have respected each other, acted by the basic norms of international relations, cooperated for win-win results, and followed a path of peaceful development.
The China-ASEAN comprehensive strategic partnership will contribute further to the building of an open, inclusive and sustainable region that enjoys peace, security, prosperity and sustainable development.
This is the common interest of China and ASEAN countries and meets the aspiration of people in the region for a better life.
In his remarks at the ASEAN-China Special Summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping said China was, is and will always be ASEAN's good neighbor, good friend and good partner, and the two sides need to pursue dialogue instead of confrontation, build partnerships instead of alliances, and make concerted efforts to address the various negative factors that might threaten or undermine peace.
China-ASEAN relations stand at a new height. The two sides need to seize the new opportunities and tap the new potential in all-round cooperation so as to bring more benefits to people, jointly maintain lasting peace in the region and build a closer China-ASEAN community with a shared future.