Messages from Ambassador Deng Xijun to the Launch of the ASEAN Development Outlook
2021-03-15 17:17

Let me express my warmest congratulations to the release of the ASEAN Development Outlook, the inaugural flagship report for the ASEAN Social-Cultural Community. We are proud to support this project through the ASEAN-China Cooperation Fund (ACCF).

As close neighbors and indispensable partners for common prosperity, China and ASEAN have built strong ties of unity, friendship and cooperation. China is the first among ASEAN’s dialogue partners to join the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) and support ASEAN’s centrality in regional cooperation architecture. It is also the first to establish strategic partnership and the first to launch free trade agreement talks with ASEAN. China-ASEAN relationship has withstood the test of the times and triumphed over numerous challenges, ranging from the Indian Ocean tsunami to Wenchuan earthquake, from the 1997 Asian financial crisis to the global financial crisis of 2008, from the SARS outbreak in 2003 to the COVID-19 pandemic still raging across the world.

Sustainable development sits among the top of our cooperation. Having lifted more than 800 million people out of absolute poverty at home, China is working keenly with ASEAN at both bilateral and multilateral levels in reducing poverty, enhancing people’s wellbeing and narrowing regional development gaps through experience sharing, capacity building and technical assistance. Cooperation programs include the China-ASEAN Forum on Social Development and Poverty Reduction hosted for 14 consecutive years, the village-based poverty alleviation pioneering projects in Cambodia, Myanmar and the Laos, IAI capacity building projects tailored to the needs of CLMV countries as well as projects in areas of health, agriculture, environment, disaster management connectivity, digital economy, etc. At the sub-regional level, China is actively engaging ASEAN member states under frameworks such as the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) and the BIMP-EAGA-China cooperation mechanism. The annual China-ASEAN-UNDP symposium on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development launched in 2016 has set up a useful platform to brainstorm, share experience and discuss ways in realizing the SDG agenda.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused severe disruptions to the attainment of UN sustainable development goals. The silver lining is that, among others, the economic dynamism of our region is still strong, with a stable political environment and robust multilateral cooperation framework with ASEAN at the center. We welcome the adoption of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework at the 37th ASEAN Summit and will continue to work closely with ASEAN for a comprehensive and sustainable post-pandemic recovery.

Year 2021 marks the 30th Anniversary of the establishment of China-ASEAN dialogue relations, which is also the China-ASEAN Year of Sustainable Development Cooperation. Domestically China will kick off the implementation of the 14th Five-Year Plan and work towards the second Centennial Goal. ASEAN will continue to forge ahead in line with the ASEAN Community Blueprints 2025 and start charting out its post-2025 vision. There are immense prospects for us to take China-ASEAN relations to new heights and build a closer community with a shared future. Let’s join hands to bring that vision into reality!

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