Remarks at the Reception for the ACJCC Meeting 2017

Your Excellency, Ambassador Tan Hung Seng, Coordinator of China-ASEAN Relations,

Your Excellencies, Members of the CPR

Representatives from ASEAN Secretariat,

Dear colleagues,

Good evening! A warm welcome to the reception tonight. Thanks to the strong support of everyone here, the ACJCC Meeting 2017 was successfully held last month.

The year 2016 yielded rich fruits in China-ASEAN cooperation. We all spoke highly of that at the ACJCC Meeting last month. Tonight, I would like to list three numbers to illustrate the close relationship between China and ASEAN. First, our trade volume topped $452.2 billion last year, and China has been ASEAN's biggest trading partner for 8 consecutive years while ASEAN after European Union and the United States, ranked as China's third largest trading partner. Second, people-to-people exchanges between China and ASEAN reached 30 million person-times last year. Third, 2700 flights are shuttling between China and ASEAN countries every week. These figures stand testimony to a dynamic and promising China-ASEAN relationship. Every step of the progress is the result of mutual understanding and joint efforts from both sides. I wish to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to all ambassadors of the Committee of Permanent Representatives and colleagues from ASEAN Secretariat for all your contributions to China-ASEAN relations.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of ASEAN, which is a big year for celebration. China is looking forward to organizing related commemorative activities with ASEAN. I would like to point out in particular that 2017 is designated as China-ASEAN Year of Tourism Cooperation. We hope that tourism cooperation will not only promote mutual economic and trade ties between China and ASEAN, but also deepen understanding and friendship among the two peoples. I noted that ASEAN countries all attach great importance to tourism development. Every country is taking measures to attract more international tourists. The number of China’ s outbound tourists reached 122 million last year, while 19.8 million of them traveled to ASEAN countries. Thailand alone had attracted 9.24 million Chinese tourists last year. I hope that when more Chinese tourists are visiting ASEAN countries, we would also see more tourists from ASEAN countries to visit China in the future.

Dear colleagues,

In ten days, the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation will be held in Beijing. Leaders and high-level officials from ASEAN member states will attend the forum. I believe that this important event will further promote practical cooperation between China and ASEAN countries and render impetus to building a closer China-ASEAN community of shared future.

Last but not least, I wish to thank all of you again for the strong support and cooperation you have rendered to our mission and to myself. I look forward to working even more closely with you for a stronger and mutually beneficial China-ASEAN relationship in the days to come.

Thank you!

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