Your Excellency Mr. Zhang Ming, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China,
Your Excellency Madame Yang Xiuping, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to ASEAN,
Ambassadors of the ASEAN Embassies in China, Council Members of the Joint Council of ASEAN-China Centre,
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good evening. First and foremost, on behalf of all the colleagues of ASEAN-China Centre Secretariat, I would like to warmly welcome all of you to the reception celebrating the 3rd Anniversary of the establishment of ASEAN-China Centre. As new year is approaching, I would also like to wish you a happy and prosperous new year!
In 2013, ASEAN and China celebrated the 10th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership. ASEAN-China relations of a Gold Decade have traversed an extraordinary path, and become a fine example of good-neighborliness and cooperation.
Chinese President H.E. Mr. Xi Jinping proposed to build up the ASEAN-China Community of Common Destiny and the Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century. Chinese Premier H.E. Mr. Li Keqiang initiated the “2+7 cooperation framework”. These have charted the course of ASEAN-China relations in the years to come.
In 2014, ASEAN-China strategic partnership stands at an even higher starting point for a Diamond Decade leading to broader and deeper cooperation. ASEAN and China launched negotiations on an upgrading of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA), and staged many spectacular events for the 2014 ASEAN-China Cultural Exchange Year. ASEAN-China cooperation has yielded rich and tangible outcomes, demonstrated strong dynamism and will herald an even brighter future for our relations.
At the 17th ASEAN-China Summit last month in Myanmar, the Leaders looked forward to further explore China's proposal for a Treaty on Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation. The Leaders also welcomed the work of ACC in promoting ASEAN-China cooperation under its respective mandates.
Amid such rapid progress in ASEAN-China relations, ACC, bearing in mind the important consensus reached by the Leaders of ASEAN and China, has faithfully fulfilled its mandates as a one-stop information and activities centre between ASEAN and China. ACC’s work has achieved overall progress.
During the past year, ACC has carried out over 140 projects and activities to facilitate trade, investment, educational, cultural, tourism, as well as information and media cooperation between the two sides, contributing to enhanced mutual understanding and friendship, ASEAN Community building, ASEAN-China Connectivity as well as further strengthen the ASEAN-China strategic partnership.
On trade and investment, we are pleased to see that following the successful establishment of ASEAN-China Products Trade Centre in Yiwu, Zhejiang Province, ACC started its attempts to set up new ASEAN-China Products Trade Centres in other provinces in China such as Linyi, Shandong Province, Deyang, Sichuan Province and Fuyang, Anhui Province, with a view to facilitating more ASEAN products to explore the Chinese market.
ACC has been working hard to help enterprises of ASEAN and China to have a better understanding of the demand and expectations of their business partners, and investment policies and environment of each other. More and more Chinese enterprises are willing to invest in ASEAN after ACC led the Chinese delegations to some of ASEAN countries.
On education, the three new platforms, namely, ASEAN-China Education Research Network, Alliance of ASEAN-China Technical Universities, and ASEAN-China Mechanism for Cooperation and Exchanges in Technology & Vocational Education and Training (TVET), have been set up by ACC to facilitate cooperation between over 400 Chinese and ASEAN education institutes. ACC has also held many activities for ASEAN students in Beijing.
Student mobility promotion activities achieved tangible results. 99 Chinese vocational colleges and 287 ASEAN vocational colleges signed 302 cooperation MoUs. Chinese vocational colleges pledged to provide 180 scholarships to their ASEAN counterparts. With the support of Tai Ao and Yalong Companies, ACC has pledged and donated at approximate 2 million RMB worth of sports and education equipment to some ASEAN countries.
On culture, to celebrate the 2014 ASEAN-China Cultural Exchange Year, ACC, in collaboration with relevant ASEAN and Chinese authorities, organized China’s national-level art troupes to stage 12 performances in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Viet Nam. The performances not only displayed colorful Chinese culture and feasted the eyes of ASEAN audiences, but also brought friendship of the Chinese to the ASEAN friends. Chinese Monkey King actor Liuxiaolingtong visited Myanmar and met the fans, arousing a huge fever in Myanmar for the Chinese TV drama “Journey to the West”, which was appreciated by the leaders of Myanmar.
On tourism, we have been successful in promoting ASEAN and Chinese tourism markets through various mainstream media. The 20-episode documentaries on "Discovery ASEAN" and "Taste ASEAN", co-produced by ACC and China Central Television (CCTV), have been shot in 5 ASEAN countries and were broadcast 4 times on CCTV in 2014. ACC also initiated capacity building projects for ASEAN tourism professionals in Indonesia and Brunei to let ASEAN friends know and understand more about Chinese tourists.
ACC spares no efforts in reaching out and raising awareness about ASEAN, ASEAN-China relations as well as ACC through public relations activities. Throughout the year, ACC had successfully organized "ACC Cup - Understanding ASEAN-China Relations" Essay Contest, attracting hundreds of both Chinese and foreign students around China to share their views on ASEAN-China relations.
This year, ACC Website visitations reached up to 1.6 million and ACC Microblog fans reached over 1.7 million. ACC also created WeChat with current viewers of at approximately 200,000. The three online platforms have built a new bridge to connect the peoples of ASEAN and China.
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
The smooth and successful operation of ASEAN-China Centre is attributed to the strong support of the Governments of ASEAN Member States and China, to the good cooperation of ASEAN embassies in China, Chinese embassies in ASEAN Member States and China's Mission to ASEAN, as well as to the care and support of our friends present here today. I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for your generous support during the past years. I also wish allACC's friends could continue to render their valuable support for a stronger ACC in the year to come.
ASEAN-China Centre will work harder and remain committed to serving as a facilitator for good neighborliness and mutual trust, a promoter for functional cooperation and a spreader for friendship between ASEAN and China. ACC is dedicated to make consistent efforts for the realization of ASEAN Community, a closer ASEAN-China Community of Common Destiny and a stronger ASEAN-China strategic partnership.
Now, I would like to propose a toast:
To the brighter future of ASEAN-China relations,
And to good health of all friends.