Yiwu, China, 27 August 2011

The visit of the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN (CPR) to China concludes on a successful note at its last stop, Yiwu, the largest small commodity center in China.

During the visit, both sides exchanged views on issues of regional and international concern. ASEAN and China were also able to appreciate each other’s historical affinity and contemporary common challenges. The visit renewed their mutual commitment in the future, as they mark 20 years of ASEAN-China dialogue relations this year.

The visit was also a balance between engaging discussions and field trips to various areas of development in China. Earlier, the CPR had visited Beijing, Tianjin, and Hangzhou.

“The CPR is important for external coordination and as a channel of cooperation,” said China’s Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, as he received the delegation in his office at the Ministry. He also expressed the continued commitment of China to support efforts for the building of the ASEAN Community by 2015, especially on connectivity and on trade.

The Secretary-General-designate of the ASEAN-China Centre (ACC), H.E. Ma Mingqiang, also welcomed the members of the CPR in the Centre’s new building in Beijing.

The delegation also met with the ASEAN Committee in Beijing (ACB), part of the mechanism called ASEAN Committees in Third Countries (ACTC), which are established in countries having dialogue with ASEAN to safeguard and advance ASEAN interests through joint consultation with the host governments. The ACB also co-organised the Commemorative Reception of the 20th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations in Beijing on 23 August. Cambodian Ambassador to China, H.E. Mme. Khek Caimealy Sysoda and China State Councilor, H.E. Mr. Dai Bingguo, said pledges have been made to further consolidate and promote ASEAN-China’s strategic partnership.

The CPR also held discussions with leading scholars and analysts from China’s Institute of International Studies (CIIS). The scholars from the CIIS underscored two major points in the discussion. First, there is a need to continue efforts of cultivating mutual trust between ASEAN and China; and second, there is a need for ASEAN Member States to prepare an enabling environment in their respective economies as further increases in investments from China are poured into the region.

In between substantive discussions, the CPR toured various sites in the city of Tianjin where constructions of entirely new suburbs are progressing. Among the sites that the delegation visited is the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City, a collaborative agreement between the governments of Singapore and China for the joint development of a socially harmonious, environmentally friendly and resource-conserving city in China.

The provincial government of Zheijang and the Mayor of the city of Yiwu, Mr. He Meihua also engaged in a dynamic exchange of views with the CPR and the Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Political Security Community, H.E. Mr. Sayakane Sisouvong.