Xi Jinping Delivers a Speech at the Opening Ceremony of the 17th China-ASEAN Expo and China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit

On November 27, 2020, President Xi Jinping delivered a speech at the Opening Ceremony of the 17th China-ASEAN Expo and China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit.

Xi Jinping stressed that in 2013, he announced an initiative for China to work with ASEAN countries for a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and for a closer China-ASEAN community with a shared future. Seven years on, the China-ASEAN relationship has grown into the most successful and vibrant model for cooperation in the Asia-Pacific and an exemplary effort in building a community with a shared future for mankind. When confronted by COVID-19, China and ASEAN have helped each other and took on the challenge in solidarity. The world is undergoing momentous changes unseen in a century. Never before have the destinies of people in different countries been so closely connected. China continues to regard ASEAN as a priority in its neighborhood diplomacy and a key region in high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. China will work with ASEAN to advance all-round cooperation, maintain the good momentum for development and prosperity in our region and build a closer China-ASEAN community with a shared future.

First, we need to enhance strategic mutual trust and further synergize our development plans. More efforts will be made to build the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor, strengthen cooperation on infrastructure connectivity, speed up the development of existing economic corridors and key projects, and continue to develop the China-ASEAN Multimodal Transport Alliance. Next year will mark the 30th anniversary of China-ASEAN dialogue relations. China will work with ASEAN to take the strategic partnership to a higher level.

Second, we need to elevate economic and trade cooperation and facilitate an early and full recovery of the regional economy. China will further implement the China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement, and looks forward to the early enforcement of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. China will work with ASEAN countries to sustain the smooth flow of trade, promote mutual investment, open up markets wider to each other, and foster deeply integrated industrial, supply and value chains. Provided that all necessary COVID-19 containment protocols are duly observed, steps should be taken to facilitate the flow of people and goods. We also need to further deepen and substantiate Lancang-Mekong cooperation and China-BIMP-EAGA cooperation.

Third, we need to enhance innovation in science and technology and deepen cooperation on the digital economy. China will work with ASEAN countries to create more highlights of cooperation in such areas as smart city, 5G, artificial intelligence, e-commerce, big data, blockchain and telemedicine, and strengthen the protection of data security and policy communication and coordination. China will work with ASEAN on the China-ASEAN Information Harbor to advance digital connectivity and build a digital Silk Road.

Fourth, we need to strengthen cooperation against COVID-19 and enhance capacity building in public health. China will step up policy dialogue, information sharing and vaccine cooperation with ASEAN countries. When the COVID-19 vaccines are available for use, China will actively consider the needs of ASEAN countries, provide financial support to the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund, train for ASEAN countries 1,000 administrative and specialized personnel in the health sector, and develop the Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies for Public Health Emergencies and launch a Liaison Mechanism for Public Health Emergencies with ASEAN.

Xi Jinping emphasized that China will embark on a new journey next year toward fully building a modern socialist country. China will stay as committed as ever to further opening-up, and China-ASEAN cooperation will enjoy still greater prospects.

At last, Xi Jinping said that he hopes this year's gathering will enable China and ASEAN countries to find more business opportunities, reap more fruits, and usher in a brighter future of prosperity.

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