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China committed to improving ties with ASEAN: Official

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-09-11 19:06

NANNING -- China is committed to improving its relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Liu Zhenmin, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs said.

Sound China-ASEAN ties will contribute to economic development in East Asia and will be conducive to an East Asia economic community, said Liu, ahead of the 13th China-ASEAN Expo that opened here on Sunday.

The vice minister was upbeat over better China-ASEAN relations.

Liu said China will prioritize ASEAN in Belt and Road Initiative projects, and improvements to the existing free trade zone will boost bilateral trade.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will fund infrastructure projects in ASEAN. Industrial capacity cooperation will be promising and the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation mechanism will be supportive, according to him.

China is ASEAN's largest trading partner and ASEAN is China's third-largest trading partner.

"If the two sides engage in down-to-earth cooperation, ASEAN will become China's largest trading partner someday," he said.

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