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Zhang Gaoli Attends and Addresses Opening Ceremony of China-ASEAN Expo

On the morning of September 18, 2015, the 12th China-ASEAN Expo and China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit were held in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli attended the opening ceremony and delivered a keynote speech.

Zhang Gaoli noted that China and the ASEAN nations, as friendly neighbors linked by land and sea, are natural partners of cooperation. By grasping the trend of the times and upholding the principles of mutual assistance, mutual benefits and win-win result, both sides have constantly promoted bilateral friendly cooperation and become a major force for maintaining regional peace and stability and promoting regional development and prosperity. President Xi Jinping made the proposal of building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and a closer China-ASEAN community of shared destiny through the joint efforts of China and ASEAN. His proposal, as a great cause that will boost regional economic cooperation, beef up exchanges between different civilizations, promote world peace and development, and bring benefits to all people around the world, has won wide approval and support from ASEAN nations. Premier Li Keqiang has put forward a "2+7 cooperation framework". China and the ASEAN nations should further intensify cooperation to build a community of shared interests, destiny and responsibility featuring political mutual trust, economic integration and cultural inclusiveness.

Zhang Gaoli stressed that the Chinese government will attach great importance to friendly cooperation with the ASEAN countries and place priority on the ASEAN in China' s diplomacy with neighboring countries. China is willing to, together with the ASEAN nations, push for constant and new progress in bilateral strategic partnership. The first is to further enhance political mutual trust, cement the connection between the construction of the "Belt and Road" and the blueprint of ASEAN Community as well as the development strategies of ASEAN countries and speed up the formulation of the Plan of Action to Implement the Joint Declaration on the China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity (2016-2020). The second is to further deepen bilateral economic and trade cooperation, work towards completing the negotiations on upgrading the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area at an early date, and join efforts to advance the negotiations of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The third is to further push forward international cooperation in production capacity, build industrial parks covering various sectors to enhance the industrial competitiveness of China and ASEAN in the world, and make full use of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Silk Road Fund so that finance can play a vitally supportive role in infrastructure construction and production capacity cooperation. The fourth is to strengthen connectivity, facilitate construction of the South-North new land passage linking West China and the Indo-China Peninsula as well as the construction of the "Belt and Road", and work together to build the China-ASEAN information port. The fifth is to further boost maritime cooperation and strive to make maritime cooperation a new highlight and momentum for China-ASEAN relations. The sixth is to further foster closer people-to-people and cultural exchanges and intensify exchanges and cooperation in culture, education, scientific technology, tourism, agriculture, environmental protection and other sectors.

Zhang Gaoli noted that China will adopt a more active opening-up strategy and benefit neighboring countries and the rest of world with its own development. China will import more commodities and services and expand investment overseas on a larger scale in the future. These will offer more opportunities for development and cooperation to countries all over the world. With global economic recovery remains difficult, China is willing to complement each other with ASEAN countries, achieve mutual benefit and win-win results and jointly overcome challenges and obstacles for a robust, sustainable and balanced global growth and regional development and prosperity.

Deputy Prime Minister Tanasak Patimapragorn of Thailand, Vice President Sai Mauk Kham of Myanmar, Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad of Laos and Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc of Viet Nam also attended and addressed the opening ceremony.

Following the opening ceremony, Zhang Gaoli inspected the pavilions of the Expo and attended the opening ceremony of the Thai pavilion together with Tanasak Patimapragorn.

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