ASEAN-China Week 2023 Opens in Fujian

Source:ASEAN-China Centre Convert Chinese

On 6 August 2023, the opening ceremony of ASEAN-China Week (ACW) 2023 was successfully held in Fuzhou, Fujian Province, under the co-sponsorship of the ASEAN-China Centre (ACC), Foreign Affairs Office of Fujian Provincial Government and the Fuzhou Municipal Government. H.E. Secretary General Shi Zhongjun of the ACC presided over the ceremony. Governor Zhao Long of Fujian Province, Assistant Minister Nong Rong of Foreign Affairs of China, Secretary Lin Baojin of the CPC Fuzhou Municipal Committee, Vice President Sommad Pholsena of the Lao National Assembly, Secretary of State Kung Phoak of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia, Deputy Minister Khairul Firdaus of Tourism, Arts and Culture of Malaysia, Deputy Secretary-General Satvinder Singh of ASEAN, and Ambassador Djauhari Oratmangun of the Republic of Indonesia to China attended and addressed the ceremony. Around 300 senior government officials, diplomatic envoys, think tank experts and media representatives from ASEAN Member States (AMS) and China were present. Over 3 million viewers followed the opening ceremony online, which was broadcast live with texts and photos.

In his opening remarks, Secretary General Shi Zhongjun pointed out that, despite the complexities in the international situation and the challenges in post-pandemic global recovery, ASEAN has successfully managed to maintain peace and stability in the region and sustain good momentum of growth. Under the new circumstances, ASEAN and China are working together to consolidate strategic trust, expand shared interests, enhance people-to-people ties and promote regional integration. Together they act as stabilizer and propeller of the region and the world, making a promising future and building a beautiful home of their own. The ACC looks forward to, through the ACW platform, reaffirming deep bonds of amity between ASEAN and China, carrying forward common aspirations of both sides, and ushering in an even brighter future for the ever-growing ASEAN-China comprehensive strategic partnership. 

Governor Zhao Long said that ASEAN and Fujian enjoyed profound historical links and cultural connections, and the cooperation in various fields between both sides boasts solid foundation, great potential and broad prospects. Fujian will work with all parties to improve the quality and efficiency of economic cooperation and trade, explore a new model of international division of labour and continuously deepen exchanges and cooperation with AMS in areas such as sister cities, overseas Chinese affairs, tourism, culture and education. Secretary Lin Baojin expressed expectations that Fuzhou will strengthen industrial connectivity, facility interoperability and policy reciprocity with the AMS in an all-round manner, attracting more investment from ASEAN to local industries. 

Assistant Minister Nong Rong commended the sound momentum of China-AESAN relations and recognized the ACC’s important contribution to developing practical cooperation and people-to-people exchanges between both sides. He said that friends in Southeast Asia often say that “the lotus blossoms grow taller as the water rises”. China will always uphold the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness in its neighbourhood diplomacy, and will work with ASEAN to engage in win-win cooperation to enlarge the shared interests, and build a peaceful, safe and secure, prosperous, beautiful and amicable home. China stands ready to jointly build a closer ASEAN-China community with a shared future, achieve common development and promote regional peace, stability and prosperity.

Vice President Sommad Pholsena said that Lao PDR and China are committed to enhancing regional integration and connectivity. The Laos-China railway, as a landmark project, has shortened the geographical distance between both sides. It also demonstrates the robust practical cooperation between Lao PRD and China as well as between ASEAN and China, and the huge potential in their future cooperation. 

Secretary Kung Phoak pointed out that Cambodia highly values China’s firm support to ASEAN Centrality and the ASEAN-led mechanisms, which is fundamental to ASEAN’s collective efforts to promote peace, stability and prosperity in the region. Deputy Minister Khairul Firdaus said that Malaysia and China complement each other well in culture and tourism, and such people-to-people exchanges are mutually beneficial, which will strengthen ties between Malaysia and China as well as between ASEAN and China. Ambassador Djauhari Oratmangun stated that Indonesia seeks support from China as one of ASEAN’s most important dialogue partners. Indonesia continues to encourage cooperation between ASEAN and China, and manage well the relations to realize a peaceful community for a shared future.

Deputy Secretary-General Satvinder Singh of ASEAN, representing Secretary-General Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, said that the ASEAN-China relationship is one of the most dynamic, substantive, and mutually beneficial partnership among ASEAN and its dialogue partners. In response to the fast-changing global economic landscape in the post-pandemic era, both sides need to explore collaboration potential in such areas as free trade and economic integration, digital economy, inclusive and sustainable development as well as tourism, so as to add impetus to the long-lasting growth of ASEAN-China comprehensive strategic partnership.

All speakers highlighted in their remarks the important role played by the ACC in promoting economic cooperation and people-to-people exchanges between ASEAN and China, and spoke highly of the ACC’s efforts in setting up a new platform of the ACW, which could be further leveraged to enhance mutual understanding and deepen exchanges and cooperation between ASEAN and China, making contribution to regional and world peace, stability and prosperity.

The ACW 2023 will last till 11 August. A series of activities will be carried out, such as the themed forum on “A Forward-looking ASEAN-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) in the New Era”, ASEAN-China (Fujian) Forum on Trade and Investment Cooperation, ASEAN-China Symphonic Concert: The Legend of Maritime Silk Road, ASEAN-China Youth Forum, ASEAN-China Gourmet Carnival, ASEAN Film Week @ Fuzhou and ASEAN-China Seminar on Traditional Chinese Medicine.