MANILA, Nov. 22 (Xinhua): Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday underlined "the depth and breadth" of the 30-year relations between the Association of South-East Asian Nations (Asean) and China, hailing the establishment of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two sides.
At the Asean-China Special Summit to Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of Asean-China Dialogue Relations via video link, Duterte lauded China's "timely assistance" to the Asean's COVID-19 response efforts, highlighting that China was the first dialogue partner to provide "life-saving vaccines and medical supplies."
Duterte also welcomed China's ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership RCEP) agreement, adding that enhanced multilateralism and connectivity will be the drivers of inclusive and comprehensive recovery.
The Asean includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
On another note, Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong on Monday highlighted the key achievements in the China-Asean relations over the past 30 years, saying that the close ties between the two sides are paramount to ensuring peace, stability, development and prosperity in the region and the world.
The Asean-China Special Summit to Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of Asean-China Dialogue Relations was held via video link Monday morning.
Namhong said over the past three decades, China and Asean had enjoyed fruitful cooperation in various sectors. Thanks to the Asean-China Free Trade Agreement and the annual China-Asean Expo, China and Asean have become the largest trading partners to each other.
Namhong said despite Covid-19 pandemic, Asean-China trade volume exceeded 410 billion U.S. dollars in the first half of 2021, up 38.2 percent year on year.
Besides trade and investment, China has also helped Asean in the education sector by providing many scholarships to students in Asean member states every year.
Speaking of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) initiated by China in 2013, Namhong said the BRI has created a win-win infrastructure cooperation between China and countries in Asia, Africa and Europe. - Xinhua