International Symposium on Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN successfully held
Source: ASEAN-China Centre
Time: 2017-Mar-31 11:23

On 30 and 31 March 2017, scholars and experts from ASEAN Member States and China, who were present at the “New Beginning, New Opportunity-International Symposium on Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN”, had intensive discussions on topics including “Fifty Years of ASEAN: Review & Outlook”, “ASEAN-China Cooperation: Experience, Inspiration and Prospects”, “Maximize the Synergy between ASEAN Economic Community and the Belt and Road Initiative”, etc.

During the Symposium, the participants voiced their opinions and observations, reviewed ASEAN 50 years’ journey and achievements in the fields of political security, economic integration and social and cultural development, and analyzed opportunities and challenges ahead for implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025. They agreed that ASEAN should base on its reality, continue to uphold the ASEAN Way, keep to openness and inclusiveness to meet all kinds of challenges head on, further enhance cooperation with countries and dialogue partners in this region and play the driver’s role in East Asia regional cooperation while strengthening ASEAN integration, to strive for further development in the next 50 years.

The participants were of the view that through 25-year development, ASEAN-China relations and practical cooperation in all fields achieved great success. In order to promote ASEAN-China relations to a new higher level, it is very important to uphold the idea of enhancing mutual trust and insisting on the win-win cooperation. To find the way ahead, both ASEAN and China should not only seize the opportunities but also overcome the realistic challenges occurred in the development of bilateral relations. Scholars and experts also put forward many useful suggestions on how to deepen the two-way trade and investment, especially on how to better promote and implement ASEAN-China FTA policy, strongly reinforce the utilization and cooperation on water resource, and support and boost the development of Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Mechanism and other subregional cooperation mechanisms.

Experts and scholars had lively discussions on the topics of strengthening the synergy between ASEAN economic integration and China’s the Belt and Road Initiative, deepening people-to-people exchanges, and promoting cooperation on production capacity and connectivity. They all agreed that in the new circumstances, both ASEAN countries and China should understand the importance of deepening and broadening the alignment between ASEAN economic integration and the Belt and Road Initiative, strengthen the policy communication in line with the country and regional long-term development needs to deliver more benefits to the people of ASEAN and China. On strengthening people-to-people exchanges, it was suggested to find new ways, step up public diplomacy, focus more on the ordinary people, and further enhance the mutual understanding and friendship and get more public support for ASEAN-China cooperation through strengthening exchanges in the areas of culture, young people, think tank and media. To strengthen the synergy between Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity and the Belt and Road Initiative will contribute to find more converging interests. While promoting infrastructure connectivity, efforts should be made to promote software connectivity such as trade facilitation. ASEAN and China should sufficiently exploit complementary advantages of the production capacity cooperation for more concrete outcomes.

At the closing ceremony, H.E. Dr. A.K.P. Mochtan, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN, H.E. Mme. Yang Xiuping, Secretary-General of ASEAN-China Centre (ACC) and Dr. Rong Ying, Vice President of China Institute of International Studies delivered speeches respectively. Deputy Secretary-General Mochtan congratulated on the success of this symposium. He said as the first event hosted in an ASEAN partner country to celebrate the 50th anniversary of ASEAN, this symposium is of great significance. He stressed that ASEAN has traveled an eventful 50-year journey and made hard-won achievements. ASEAN will continue to play a central role in regional cooperation, and make even greater progress by strengthening internal coordination and enhancing cooperation with external partners. ASEAN-China relations have achieved a lot in the past 25 years, and its future development requires concerted efforts of governments, think tanks as well as peoples of the two sides. By focusing on cooperation and bearing in mind the long-term common interests, both sides together can push forward the sustainable development of ASEAN-China strategic partnership.

Secretary-General Yang Xiuping said ASEAN has broad development prospects and believed that ASEAN can play an even bigger role in promoting regional peace, stability and prosperity. A lot can be achieved in ASEAN-China practical cooperation. Both sides should continue to actively implement the consensus reached by the leaders, deepen practical cooperation, make efforts to match the need of ASEAN Economic Community with the Belt and Road Initiative and benefit both peoples. She hoped that all scholars continue to study new issues in ASEAN-China cooperation, give more feasible suggestions and make new contributions to deepen ASEAN-China friendship. ACC will continue to promote good neighborliness, mutual trust, practical cooperation and friendship between ASEAN and China.

Vice President Rong Ying said with the change of world and regional situation, the development of both China and ASEAN depends on how they seize the opportunity and meet the challenges. Under new circumstances, think tanks of both sides should keep pace with the times, break new ground, and be more proactive, adaptive and cooperative to contribute wisdom to the development of China-ASEAN relations.

All scholars and experts present highly valued this symposium, and expressed the willingness to further enhance exchanges with ACC and CIIS, and to play a greater role in advancing ASEAN-China practical cooperation.

Related News