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Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli's speech at China-ASEAN Expo

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-09-17 13:38

Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli's speech at China-ASEAN Expo

Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli delivers a speech Tuesday at the 11th China-ASEAN Expo and China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit in Nanning, South China Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. [Photo/Xinhua] 

Following is the translated version of the full text of Zhang Gaoli's speech delivered Tuesday at the 11th China-ASEAN Expo and China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit in the south China city of Nanning.

Join Hands to Build the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road

and Work for an Even Brighter Future

for China-ASEAN Friendship and Cooperation

Speech by Zhang Gaoli

Member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau

of the CPC Central Committee and Vice Premier of

the State Council of the People's Republic of China

At the 11th China-ASEAN Expo and

China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit

Nanning, Guangxi, Sept 16, 2014

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,


I am delighted to join you in Nanning, the beautiful Green City of China, for the 11th China-ASEAN Expo and China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit.

First, please allow me to extend, on behalf of President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and the Chinese government, our warm congratulations on the opening of the 11th Expo and the Summit, and our warm welcome to all distinguished guests from ASEAN countries and other countries and regions.

China and ASEAN are natural partners of cooperation, as we enjoy geographical proximity, strong bond, cultural affinity, close business ties and interconnected interests.

The ancient maritime Silk Road, opened more than 2,000 years ago, created bonds of trade, culture and friendship between the people in China and Southeast Asian countries.

Zheng He, the well-known Chinese navigator of the Ming Dynasty, visited Southeast Asian countries on all of his seven voyages, sowing the seeds of peace and friendship. Over thousands of years, the Chinese people and people in Southeast Asian countries have, by way of the ancient maritime Silk Road, forged friendship and developed trade, leaving behind many unforgettable stories.

In the new era of today, China-ASEAN friendship has entered a new chapter. Since the commencement of our dialogue relations in 1991 and the establishment of the strategic partnership in 2003 in particular, China-ASEAN relations have traversed an extraordinary path, and become a fine example of good-neighborliness and cooperation.

Our political mutual trust has continuously increased and we have supported each other in many major international and regional affairs. Among ASEAN's dialogue partners, China was the first to join the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia.

With deepened business cooperation, we have put in place world's largest free trade zone of developing countries. As each other's major trade and investment partners, China and ASEAN have quadrupled their trade from US$105.9 billion in 2004 to US$443.6 billion in 2013. And the two-way accumulative investment has topped US$120 billion.

Our cooperation has also expanded comprehensively. Practical cooperation has been carried out in many fields, including 11 major areas, ranging from agriculture to IT, human resource development, mutual investment, development of the Mekong river basin, transport, energy, culture, tourism, public health and environmental protection.

There are more than 140 pairs of sister cities/provinces. Every week, over 1,000 flights are made between China and ASEAN countries. Every year, more than 18 million people travel between the two sides. And the number of exchange students has exceeded 180,000. On the front of fighting major natural disasters and communicable diseases, China and ASEAN have also worked together successfully.

After the recent earthquake in Ludian of China's Yunnan Province, which caused a huge loss of life and property, ASEAN countries expressed their sympathies to the Chinese government and people and offered their support. China-ASEAN friendship and cooperation has proved to be not only beneficial to the people of both sides, but also a boost to peace, stability and development of the region.

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