Advancing the strategic partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is an important part of China's foreign policy with its neighbor countries, a senior Chinese leader said Sunday.
Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), made the remark at a dinner party that all sections of the Indonesian society held in his honor in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.
Noting that this year marks the China-ASEAN friendship and cooperation year, Jia said relations between China and ASEAN show good momentum of development. Political trust between the two sides has been enhanced continuously, while cooperation in various fields deepened.
The establishment of China-ASEAN free trade zone is progressing smoothly as two-way trade maintained a growth rate of nearly 30 percent every year, he said, adding if the growth continues, China and ASEAN will definitely be able to achieve the goal of increasing trade volume to 200 billion U.S. dollars by 2010.
Meanwhile, Jia said Indonesia is a country of important influence in ASEAN and both China and Indonesia are members of such multilateral mechanism as 10 plus 1 (ASEAN plus China) and 10plus 3 (ASEAN plus China, Republic of Korea and Japan). The two countries share many channels and a wide spectrum of cooperation, Jia said.
Jia, who was invited by Chairman of Indonesia's People's Consultative Assembly Hidayat Nur Wahid for a four-day visit to Indonesia, noted that in order to advance China-ASEAN relations, China is ready to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with Indonesia, especially in the fields of agriculture, finance, education, public health and high and new technology,
China and Indonesia should support and encourage companies from both countries to enhance economic and technological exchanges and cooperation, he said, calling for continuously optimizing cooperative mechanism and environment to promote bilateral trade and economic cooperation to make new progress.
ASEAN groups 10 countries in Southeast Asia, including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Jia arrived here earlier Sunday by a special plane after a visit to Bali island of Indonesia.
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