ASEAN-China summit to chart FTA blueprint
Updated: 2006-10-30 17:25
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (C) and
heads of 10 ASEAN countries have group photos taken prior to the
Commemorative Summit marking the 15th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue
Relations in Nanning, capital of southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang
Autonomous Region, on October 30, 2006. [Xinhua]
China, ASEAN ink joint
NANNING -- Heads of China and
ten ASEAN countries gathered in Nanning Monday for a summit marking the 15th
anniversary of the China-ASEAN dialogue relations, charting blueprint for future
cooperation and stepping up efforts to build a free trade
"China-ASEAN relations have evolved from removal of misgivings, to
commencement of dialogue, to enhancement of mutual trust, and to the final
establishment of strategic partnership," said Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in his
remarks. [full text of Wen's speech]
China-ASEAN relations are a "fine
example" of friendly exchanges and cooperation between countries in this region,
and have brought real benefits to the peoples of China and the ASEAN countries,
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao attends
the opening ceremony of the Commemorative Summit marking the 15th
Anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations in Nanning, capital of
southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, on October 30, 2006.
The premier said he would work with Philippine President
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who holds the rotating presidency of ASEAN, to make the
summit "a fruitful one".
Arroyo said the summit is "a milestone" and
"more important than ever", because open dialogue and trust between peoples and
nations have never been more important than in today's world.
would like to enhance cooperation in building a free trade area with China, as
the FTA will help the economies grow and strengthen peace and security in the
region, she said.
The summit has attracted great attention from domestic
and overseas media.
"The China-ASEAN summit will reap great results,
bringing their strategic partnership to a new development height, for benefits
of all related parties," Vietnamese newspaper People's Army said in an editorial
"In the context that ... ASEAN is looking forward to the
establishment of the ASEAN Community by 2020, the summit is suitable for the two
sides' leaders to discuss the future of their strategic partnership, " said the
China and ASEAN have agreed to build up a free trade area
before 2010, which will realize free flow of goods, services and investment.
The free trade area will boast 1.8 billion consumers and a combined
gross domestic product of US$2 trillion when completed, making it world third
largest FTA after the European Union and the North American free trade area.
"Development of China-ASEAN bilateral trade is so fast that it already
outpaced the growth of foreign trade in China," said Gao Hucheng, Vice Commerce
Minister of China.
More importantly, the traded products between China
and ASEAN are changing from raw products to industrial products, especially
mechanical, electrical or high-tech products, according to industry
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