Asean given priority in China’s “high quality” Belt and Road cooperation, says Xi

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 27 (The Star/ANN) - Chinese President Xi Jinping said Friday that Beijing places priority on Asean in diplomacy and high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, according to state-linked Global Times.

“China continues to regard Asean as a priority in its neighborhood diplomacy and a key region in high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, ” Global Times of China quoted Xi as saying.

The Chinese leader urged more efforts to be made to strengthen cooperation in infrastructure connectivity -- including railways, highways, ports, airports, power and communications.

He hopes to see the speeding up in the development of existing economic corridors and key projects.

Xi said this on Nov 27 while delivering a speech via videoconference at the opening ceremony of the 17th China-Asean Expo and China-Asean Business and Investment Summit in Nanning in South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Xi reiterated his earlier promise to Asean nations:

“When its COVID-19 vaccines are available for use, China will actively consider the needs of Asean countries.”

He said the China-Asean relationship has grown into the “most successful and vibrant” model for cooperation in the Asia-Pacific.

He also said the relationship, underpinned by mutual trust between China and Asean, is an “exemplary effort” in building a regional community with a shared future for mankind.

Asean and China together generates around US$18 trillion in GDP and covers a total population of 1.9 billion people.

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