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Joint efforts essential for common development

By CHEN YINGQUN | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-05-30 11:30
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The Chongqing-Lincang-Mandalay cargo train awaits departure in Chongqing. [Photo by ZHANG JINHUI/FOR CHINA DAILY]

Making joint efforts to achieve common development is "even more necessary" than in the past for Asian countries that are facing common and critical challenges amid global uncertainty, a Cambodian politician said on Sunday.

While addressing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership's Media & Think Tank Forum via video, Keo Puth Rasmey, former deputy prime minister of Cambodia, said that Asian states have had good relations and trade with one another, developing in peace and harmony.

"Unlike yesterday, we now face common, critical, complex challenges with vital internal issues," he said. "The contribution of individual interests to improve collective wealth … is more essential than ever."

He said that China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have fostered diplomatic and economic ties for decades, with positive results. The success of these relationships encourages all nations involved to continue pursuing cooperation projects, including further implementation of the China-ASEAN comprehensive strategic partnership.

The partnership, a milestone in China-ASEAN relations, was established in November at a special summit celebrating the 30th anniversary of the relations.

During that summit, China proposed new suggestions for making the relations even stronger. It called for pursuing dialogue rather than confrontation, building partnerships instead of alliances and jointly developing a safe, beautiful and prosperous world.

The proposal "is a blueprint for China-ASEAN relations" that serves to promote the China-ASEAN comprehensive strategic partnership and to enable Asian nations to better choose the paths to prosperity that suit them.

China's imports and exports to ASEAN reached 1.35 trillion yuan ($202.2 billion) during the first quarter of this year-an increase of 8.4 percent year-on-year, accounting for 14.4 percent of China's total foreign trade, according to customs data.

During the period, trade between China and ASEAN accounted for 47.2 percent of China's foreign trade with RCEP partners, the data showed.

But as conflicts threaten the world, the China-ASEAN comprehensive strategic partnership needs more long-term creative efforts to be sustainable, Rasmey said.

He added that the China-ASEAN comprehensive strategic partnership, which emphasizes economic growth, cooperation and partnership, "is poised to become stronger".

Cambodia and China have a close connection, and both sides attach great importance to the common interests and cohesion of the region. The Cambodian government is devoted to contributing to the building of a united and stronger Asia to not only preserve its place in the complex world of tomorrow, but also to play a role in the future of the world, Rasmey said.

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