On 23 October 2014, a prize-awarding ceremony of “ACC Cup-Understanding ASEAN-China Relations” Essay Contest was held at ASEAN-China Centre (ACC) ASEAN Hall. Over 130 representatives attended the event. These included His Excellency Ambassador Thit Linn Ohn of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to China, diplomats from ASEAN Embassies in Beijing, Mr. Ma Mingqiang, ACC Secretary-General, Mr. Cai Qiyong, Vice President of Yangtze Normal University, Ms. Rita Zhao, a Chinese artist, officials from ACC, prize winners of the essay contest, representatives, staffs and students from Chinese education institutes and universities, as well as representatives and students from Shijia Primary School. The ceremony was hosted by Ms. Lada Phumas, Director of Information and Public Relations Division (IPRD) of ACC.
The prize-awarding ceremony brought a successful conclusion to the “ACC Cup-Understanding ASEAN-China Relations” Essay Contest, highlighting ACC's successful efforts to raise awareness on ASEAN-China relations and roles of ACC among the young generation in China.
Secretary-General Ma mentioned in his opening remarks that this was a significant activity, which has helped enhance the young generation's understanding towards the ASEAN-China relations and create mutual trust for an everlasting friendship between the peoples of China and ASEAN. Young people were not only the future of the countries, but also that for the ASEAN-China relations. ASEAN-China relations would only achieve a sustainable development with the understanding and support from the young people. All of us who gathered in ACC ASEAN Hall today and who participated in the essay contest gained benefits from the related activities, representing a solid foundation of ASEAN-China relations. We could rest assured of the future development of ASEAN-China relations and we were all determined to further enhance, support and serve this undertaking. He encouraged more people to conduct such activities to strengthen and deepen ASEAN-China relations. To make common efforts in achieving this goal would only bring about a peaceful and prosperous development of the relations.
Secretary-General Ma highlighted the current development of ASEAN-China relations, entering the first year of the "Diamond Decade" and the second decade of the strategic partnership, in terms of trade, investment and two-way personnel exchange between China and ASEAN. He referred to China's foreign policy towards ASEAN, as stated by H.E. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers' Meeting in August 2014, that no mater how the international situation may evolve, China will continue to take ASEAN as a priority in its neighbourhood diplomacy. Secretary-General Ma also summarized interesting gists, capturing views and suggestions from the students in the winning essays, and congratulated the winners of the ACC essay contest. He took this opportunity to reaffirmed ACC's roles, as one-stop information and activities centre, to promote ASEAN-China relations, as well as to implement the 2014 ASEAN-China Cultural Exchange Year.
His Excellency Ambassador Thit Linn Ohn congratulated the awarded prize winners in the essay contest and highly commended ACC for conducting the project, which brought about young and younger generation who has vital role for the future of ASEAN-China relation, into play. Ambassador Thit Linn Ohn stated that he was pleased with a significant progress in the friendly dialogue and strategic partnership between ASEAN and China. Myanmar is proud and honoured to assume the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2014 and taking all necessary steps to chart its responsibilities under the theme "Moving Forward in Unity to a Peaceful and Prosperous Community". He strongly believed that the essay contest would increase more mutual trust, good neighbourliness and people-to-people contacts between ASEAN and China. He was also pleased to inform that Myanmar would host the the closing of the 2014 ASEAN-China Cultural Exchange Year at the 17th ASEAN-China Summit in Nay Pyi Taw in November 2014.
Vice President Cai Qiyong of Yangtze Normal University said that ACC has been playing a significant role in promoting Chinese economy, social and cultural exchange, and communication between China and ASEAN countries. Every year, there are more than 20 students from ASEAN countries coming to study at Yangtze Normal University. He hoped to keep a close contact with the universities in ASEAN countries in order to strengthen the cultural communication and receive more ASEAN students to study in China. He also encouraged Chinese students to further their studies in ASEAN countries. Vice President Cai commended ACC for its active efforts in implementing this meaningful essay project, which would help Chinese students have closer and more cordial touch with their friends from ASEAN.
The remarks were followed by views on ASEAN-China relations and thankful words to ACC from Ms. He Yujia from Southwest Petroleum University, who won the 1st prize for her Chinese essay, entitled "China-ASEAN Tourism Development and Mutual Prosperity", and an essay reading by Ms. Zhang Ni from Ningbo University of Technology, who won a Consolation Prize for her English essay, entitled "Friendship between China and ASEAN in Tourism".
His Excellency Ambassador Thit Linn Ohn of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to China, diplomats from ASEAN Embassies in Beijing and all the guests and participants were very impressed and expressed their kind admiration to ACC for the well-organized event, which was not only ceremonial but also substantive in light of further enhancing ASEAN-China relations. The students were attentive to the details of all the speeches and remarks, marking another level of understanding of the friendly relations between ASEAN and China.