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Chinese vice premier calls for closer China-ASEAN cooperation

China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) should boost strategic integration and create a closer community of shared future, Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong said.

Liu, who is in Indonesia to attend the Third Meeting of China-Indonesia High-Level People to People Dialogue, made the remarks on Monday during her visit to the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta.

She also met with Secretary-General of ASEAN Le Luong Minh and the permanent representatives of the 10 ASEAN countries.

Noting that this year marks the 50th anniversary of ASEAN, Liu said the China-ASEAN ties have developed into the most dynamic and enriched ones among ASEAN's relations with its dialogue partners.

China has been ASEAN's largest trading partner for eight consecutive years, while ASEAN being China's third largest trading partner for six consecutive years, Liu said.

Both sides have upgraded the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, and carried out hundreds of cooperation projects in various fields, which have yielded fruitful results, she added.

China has always considered ASEAN as a priority in its neighborly diplomacy and an important participant of the Belt and Road Initiative, Liu said, adding that China will firmly support the building of ASEAN Community and the bloc's central status in regional cooperation, and support a bigger role played by ASEAN in international and regional affairs.

Noting that next year will be the 15th anniversary of the establishment of China-ASEAN strategic partnership, Liu said she hoped both sides could enhance integration of planning and development strategies, deepen people-to-people exchanges, push China-ASEAN strategic partnership to a higher level, and create a closer community of shared future for both sides.

Minh, for his part, said ASEAN has continuously expanded and deepened its strategic partnership with China in recent years, promoting their own development and making important contributions to regional peace and stability.

ASEAN appreciated China's long-term support for ASEAN Community building, and looked forward to further strengthening pragmatic cooperation in all fields between the two sides, he said.

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