Your Excellency Mr. Chen Xiaodong, Assistant Minister of Chinese Foreign Ministry,
Your Excellency Mr. Arthayudh Srisamoot, Ambassador of Thailand to China,
Your Excellency Mr. Du Zhanyuan, President of China International Publishing Group，
Excellencies, Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today, we are here to celebrate the 8th anniversary of the ASEAN-China Centre. On behalf of ACC, I wish to extend a warm welcome to all of you. Thank you, Assistant Minister Chen Xiaodong and Ambassador Arthayudh Srisamoot, for your warm remarks.
Since its establishment in 2011, ACC has grown into a special bond of friendship and an important platform for practical cooperation between ASEAN and China. ACC’s development over the past eight years is attributed to the joint efforts of the governments of 10 ASEAN countries and China, the hard work of all JC and JEB members and all colleagues from the ACC Secretariat, as well as the great support of friends from various sectors of both sides. Here, on behalf of all my ACC colleagues, I wish to express my deepest appreciation to all those who have been committed to and supported the work of ACC.
ASEAN-China relations have entered a new phase of all-around development. The constantly growing political mutual trust, expanding convergence of interests and closer people-to-people exchanges not only benefit the two billion people on both sides, but also serve as the cornerstone, driving force and guarantee for regional stability and prosperity.
The year 2019 marks the ASEAN-China Year of Media Exchanges. It is also the starting year to implement the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership Vision 2030. ACC has been making unremitting efforts to implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of both sides. Focusing on the key direction and priority areas of ASEAN-China cooperation, ACC has leveraged its own strength to promote friendly exchanges and practical cooperation in various fields between ASEAN and China.
To highlight this year’s theme of ASEAN-China Year of Media Exchanges, we hosted a number of activities such as ASEAN-China Media Cooperation Forum, lectures series on ASEAN-China relations and reporting trips for journalists from ASEAN countries to visit China and the other way around to promote mutual learning and practical cooperation. We encouraged the media to produce more good stories of ASEAN-China relations, including socio-economic development of each side and ASEAN-China cooperation achievements.
We have been promoting ASEAN-China people-to-people exchanges to strengthen the bond of friendship. We hosted ASEAN-China Cooperation Forum on Innovation-Driven Development, Symposium on Vitalizing and Booming ASEAN-China People-to-People Exchanges, and invited officials from ASEAN countries to China for a smart city study visit. By holding these activities, we shared experience and built consensus to create new highlights of ASEAN-China cooperation.
We paid close attention to the full implementation of China-ASEAN FTA Upgrading Protocol and the negotiation progress of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and actively promoted BRI international cooperation in the fields of e-commerce, smart industry, energy conservation, environmental protection, connectivity and industrial production capacity enhancement.
We attached great importance to ASEAN-China education exchanges and cooperation. We constantly expanded our activities to reach out to youth and grassroot, to build bridges of friendship and strengthen cooperation at local level. We jointly launched China-ASEAN University Consortium on Medicine and Health with Peking University among efforts to facilitate the building of a long-term mechanism for practical cooperation in education, scientific research and social services.
We have been dedicated to promoting ASEAN-China cultural exchanges and cooperation. We have hosted rich and diverse cultural activities such as ASEAN-China Cultural Forum, ASEAN-China Fair and Amazing Thai Flavours Gourmet Festival, so as to expand the space for ASEAN-China people-to-people dialogues and cooperation in the fields of cultural industry, cultural heritage and arts education.
We have made great efforts to publicize tourism resources of ASEAN and China by implementing flagship projects such as ASEAN tourism destinations promotion, tourism industry capacity building and China-ready tour guides training, as well as brand activities such as ASEAN-China cultural tourism exchange week, ASEAN tourism festival and ASEAN-China tourism fair, which were all well received.
The 22nd ASEAN-China Summit concluded recently yielded a series of fruitful results. The two sides designated the year 2020 as the ASEAN-China Year of Digital Economy Cooperation and issued a number of outcome documents on synergizing MPAC 2025 and the BRI, expanding media exchanges, advancing smart cities cooperation and so on. This has injected new impetus into building a higher-level ASEAN-China strategic partnership and a closer ASEAN-China community with a shared future. ASEAN-China relations are embracing an even brighter tomorrow.
Looking to the future, ACC will closely follow the trend of ASEAN-China relations, work with all parties to make greater contributions to the development of ASEAN-China relations.
（raise the glass）As 2020 is approaching, I wish you and your families a wonderful new year, good health and happiness!