Wide-ranging cooperation boosts China-ASEAN ties

Updated: 2011-07-07 08:07

By Wang Shanshan (China Daily)

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JAKARTA, Indonesia - A wide range of fields of cooperation, constant dialogue and a strong will to communicate lie at the heart of the success of China-ASEAN dialogue, diplomats and scholars said at a forum on Wednesday.

"What I have learned here (in Indonesia) is the strong desire for cooperation in many fields, not only in trade, business and investment, but also in science and technology, art, culture and education," Zhang Qiyue, Chinese ambassador to Indonesia, told China Daily during the forum.

Wide-ranging cooperation boosts China-ASEAN ties

The forum, which commemorates the 20th anniversary of China-ASEAN dialogue, was held in the Indonesian capital on Wednesday as part of "Experience China", a month-long cultural and media exchange event organized by China's State Council Information Office in the Southeast Asian country.

"There are more than 1,000 Chinese companies in Indonesia, and there is increasing cooperation in manufacturing, agriculture, fisheries, trade and about 20 other sectors. There are also more exchange students and Chinese language programs, as well as seven Confucius Institutes," said the ambassador.

"Indonesia has the world's fourth-largest population, a stable society, a growing economy and a diversified culture. It has great potential, and shares common ground with China on many regional and international issues," said Zhang

"It is of mutual interest that the two countries maintain good relations," she added.

Huang Xingyuan, secretary-general of the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs, said:"Constant, timely dialogue helps resolve problems.

"The leaders and diplomats who launched the dialogue two decades ago were being creative and pragmatic. It provides a good example for relations between countries, and between countries and organizations," he told China Daily during the forum.

More cultural, academic and media exchanges will further enhance relations between China and Indonesia as well as other ASEAN nations, said Wang Zhongwei, vice-minister of the State Council Information Office.

"It is important to have events that promote understanding and trust between peoples," he said.

China-ASEAN dialogue started in 1991, when Qian Qichen, China's foreign minister at the time, was invited to attend the 24th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Today, there are more than 760 regular flights between China and ASEAN nations every week, 800,000 person times in people-to-people exchanges every month and bilateral trade is nearly $300 billion, said Zhang.