World / China-ASEAN meetings

China, ASEAN expected to make fortune together

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-11-22 06:18

China, ASEAN expected to make fortune together

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang poses for a group photo with ASEAN members' leaders when the Joint Statement on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Negotiations was released in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Nov. 22, 2015. [Photo provided to]

KUALA LUMPUR -- "Eighteen" is considered a lucky number in Chinese tradition - a good sign that the China-ASEAN ties will make a big stride toward a broader space for development, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said here Saturday at the 18th China-ASEAN (10+1) leaders' meeting.

In Chinese, "18" is pronounced similar to "make a fortune for sure." To make a fortune together with ASEAN, Li pledged the 10-member bloc infrastructure loans totaling 10 billion US dollars, and proposed railway and production capacity cooperation amid closer partnership with the economically converging region.


The China-ASEAN relationship, which transcends bilateral dimension, is becoming an important cornerstone of peace, stability and development of East Asia, said Li, who is in Kuala Lumpur also for the ASEAN-China, Japan and South Korea (10+3) leaders' meeting and the East Asia Summit, as well as a visit to Malaysia.

At the 10+1 leaders' meeting, Li made a six-pronged proposal on China-ASEAN cooperation.

He urged China and ASEAN nations to strengthen institution building by implementing their new five-year action plan and the 2+7 cooperation framework.

The two sides should accelerate the upgrade of trade and economic cooperation, Li said.

He also called on China and ASEAN to speed up the implementation of the results of the negotiations on an upgrade of their Free Trade Agreement (FTA), and make concerted efforts to conclude as early as possible the negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

The RCEP is a proposed collective FTA between the 10 member states of the ASEAN and six countries with which ASEAN has individual FTAs: Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.

Li called for efforts by China and ASEAN to conjoin China's Belt and Road Initiative with other regional development strategies to promote integration.

China and ASEAN should also explore cooperation in international production capacity cooperation, and jointly raise the level of cooperation in security, Li said.

The Chinese premier also asked the two sides to promote the sU.S.tainable development of the region by promoting maritime cooperation, strengthening agricultural capacity construction, building a platform for sharing information on environmental protection and deepening people-to-people exchanges.

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