Grasp the Opportunities for Further Developing China-ASEAN Relations
– Remarks at the Reception marking the 68th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China
H.E. Dr. Xu Bu, Chinese Ambassador to ASEAN
Jakarta, 28 September 2017
Your Excellency, Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie, the Third President of the Republic of Indonesia,
Your Excellency, Mme. Rini Soemarno, Minister of State-Owned Enterprises,
Your Excellencies, Ambassadors and Representatives of the Diplomatic Corps to Indonesia and ASEAN,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Welcome to this reception co-organized by the Chinese Embassy in Indonesia and the Chinese Mission to ASEAN to celebrate the 68th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. First of all, I would like to express our appreciation to the lovely students from the Choir of Indonesian Sekolah Harapan Bangsa School and the Chinese folk music players for their wonderful performance.
Over the past 68 years, the People’s Republic of China has made enormous progress in economic and social development. It has become the world’s second largest economy, the largest exporter of goods and the fastest growing overseas investor around the globe. It now has the world’s longest high-speed railway network with the total mileage of 23,000 kilometers. Next month on October 18th, the 19th National Congress of the CPC will be held to formulate the program of action to guide China’s future development.
A right path leads to a bright future. China has come this far because the Chinese people have blazed a development path that suits China’s actual conditions. It is not an easy path. We are able to embark on this path thanks to the great endeavors of reform and opening up made in the past 30 years and more, the continuous quest made in the 60-plus years of the People’s Republic of China, a thorough review of the evolution of the Chinese nation in its 170-plus years of modern history, and carrying forward the 5000-years of Chinese civilization. This path is deeply rooted in history and broadly based on China’s present realities.
The Chinese people’s pursuit for a happier and better life is closely connected with that of the people of other countries. China will unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development and firmly pursue an opening-up strategy that brings mutual benefits. We will concentrate both on China’s development and on our responsibilities and contributions to the world as a whole. We will bring benefits to both the Chinese people and the people of the whole world. China will thrive only when the world prospers. The realization of the dream of the rejuvenation of Chinese Nation will provide positive energy for world prosperity and development and bring the world peace and opportunities.
Ladies and gentlemen,
ASEAN is celebrating its golden jubilee this year. In the past half century, by upholding a policy of independence, neutrality and non-alignment, ASEAN has lifted Southeast Asia out of turbulence, confrontation and poverty to a region of stability, cooperation and great promise. ASEAN has become an important regional organization and a model of seeking strength and harmony among differences and diversity. The realization of the ASEAN Community at the end of 2015 marked a new milestone in regional integration in East Asia.
China-ASEAN relations have run on the fast lane since 1990s’. We launched the dialogue process in 1991 and forged a strategic partnership in 2003. During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Indonesia in 2013, he called for joint efforts with ASEAN to build a Maritime Silk Road of the 21st century and proposed the concept of building a closer China-ASEAN community of shared future. This initiative takes root in a vastly changing historical background and will exert rich implications for our region and beyond, laying out a blueprint for the future growth of China-ASEAN relations.
China-ASEAN cooperation is both broad and deep with most fruitful results on the ground. We have maintained frequent high-level exchanges with constant mutual visits by state leaders and established more than 10 ministerial meeting mechanisms and more than 20 senior official meeting mechanisms. Our trade registered US$ 452.2 billion in 2016, with mutual cumulative investment at US$ 177.9 billion. China has been ASEAN’s biggest trading partner for eight consecutive years while ASEAN ranked as China’s third largest trading partner for six years in a row. Last year, over 38 million visits were made between China and ASEAN, with more than 2,700 flights shuttling between our cities every week.
China is now the largest source of foreign tourists to ASEAN. Several days ago, when I flew back to Jakarta by Garuda Indonesia Airline, I found most of the Chinese passengers on the plane were bound for Bali. China Southern Airline and Air China are operating multiple flights from China to different cities in Indonesia. Air China just opened a direct flight between Beijing and Jakarta a few days ago. Indonesia has so many valuable historical sites and natural sceneries. I believe there will be growing numbers of Chinese tourists coming to visit Borobudur in Yogyakarta to witness the historical glory of two different cultures and Semarang where Admiral Zheng He of the Ming Dynasty twice made his footsteps and two ancient temples commemorating him are still there.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Next year will mark the 15th Anniversary of China-ASEAN strategic partnership. [No translation here.]
Let’s stay tuned to the big picture of peace and development, view each other as an opportunity, respect each other’s national conditions and path of development, and accommodate each other’s major concerns.
Let’s make joint efforts for common development through win-win cooperation. We can combine respective strengths in view of our growth demands. We shall explore synergies between the Belt and Road Initiative and ASEAN Vision 2025, improve connectivity and promote production capacity cooperation.
Let’s further strengthen the bond of friendship between the peoples. We need to enhance cooperation in such areas as culture, science and technology, environment and tourism, and intensify exchanges among the youth, media and think-tanks to forge a third pillar of socio-culture cooperation in our overall relationship.
Let’s make joint efforts for the ever-growing relationship between China and Indonesia and a closer strategic partnership between China and ASEAN.