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ASEAN-China Center: A Bridge Further Endearing ASEAN and China

2013-11-11 From:xinhua net    [Large Medium small]

BEIJING, Nov. 11 (Xinhuanet) -- “Close neighbors are better than faraway relatives”, commented Ma Mingqiang, Secretary-General of the ASEAN-China Center (ACC), about the close neighboring relationship between ASEAN and China. As a non-profit inter-governmental organization headquartered in Beijing, ACC aims to deepen cooperation, promote exchanges and enhance mutual understanding between ASEAN and China.

ASEAN is now China’s third largest trading partner and the most popular destination for Chinese tourists, while China continues to pursue its rapid and sustainable economic growth and development. The Chinese government attaches great importance to ASEAN and ASEAN-China relations will benefit the region as a whole. A comprehensive development of cooperation between the two sides calls for the organization like ACC to double its efforts in support of an advancement of ASEAN-China strategic partnership.

ACC was officially launched on 18 November 2011, at the 14th ASEAN-China Summit in Bali, Indonesia, which also marked the 20th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations. ACC will be two years old next month and it is relatively young in comparing to the ASEAN-Japan Centre and the ASEAN-Korea Centre, which were set up in 1981 and 2009 respectively. ACC still needs to do more and learn many new things to further substantially contribute to ASEAN-China cooperation.

“Both sides should give full support to the Center so that it can facilitate the friendly exchanges and cooperation between China and ASEAN”, suggested former Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at the inauguration ceremony, which was highly agreed by his ASEAN counterparts. Both sides hoped ACC to play an important role in backing the achievement in trade, investment, tourism, education and cultural targets as agreed between the two sides.

During the 16th ASEAN-China Summit in Bandar Seri Begawan on 9 October 2013, the newly-appointed Chinese Premier Li Keqiang made the point that China would take more steps to open areas like trade in goods, trade in services and investment cooperation, as well as to enhance connectivity with ASEAN. Both ASEAN and China also designated 2014 for the Year of Cultural Exchange.

The Joint Statement on Commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership highlighted and supported ACC’s work in facilitating trade, investment and tourism between ASEAN and China, and as platform for better understanding, communication and cooperation through cultural exchanges and education. The leaders expressed their continued support to ACC and ACC is committed to chart its responsibilities to further strengthen and promote ASEAN-China relations.

As facilitation and coordination roles in trade, investment, tourism, education and culture between China and ASEAN highlight its core missions, ACC endeavors to build a bridge which further endears ASEAN and China and to practically support an integrated ASEAN Community, particularly through ASEAN-China connectivity efforts.

To fulfill its missions and meet the expectations, ACC strives to fully play the roles as an information collector and updater, a barrier remover, a cultural ambassador and activity organizer to link ASEAN with China, and vice versa, in terms of flowing of trade, investment and peoples. As of October 2013, ACC has completed more than 250 projects and activities. With the efforts of ACC, traditional cultures ranging from arts, medicine, films and sports are explored and introduced; products from the two sides are presented and exhibited; network parties and seminars are held at a regular basis with various themes; introductory lectures are delivered all across China to raise awareness about ASEAN Member States, ASEAN-China relations and ACC. ACC will surely do its utmost to further endear ASEAN and China.

(Done by Information and Public Relations Division (IPRD), ACC)

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