JAKARTA, 8 May 2018 – Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China Li Keqiang yesterday reaffirmed China’s strong commitment to further strengthening its Strategic Partnership with ASEAN.

“We want to work with ASEAN to write a new chapter for win-win cooperation,” said Premier Li at the launch of the 15th anniversary of the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership at the ASEAN Secretariat.

During his historic visit to the Secretariat, Premier Li also met with Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dato Lim Jock Hoi.

Addressing the launch ceremony Premier Li underscored that China places high priority to its relations with ASEAN as part of the country neighbourhood diplomacy and paid tribute to the success of ASEAN in promoting peace, stability, integration and development in the region.

He conveyed China’s unwavering support to ASEAN centrality and for ASEAN to play an even bigger role in the evolving regional architecture.

Secretary-General Dato Lim underscored the importance of ASEAN-China relations in support of ASEAN Community building efforts and highlighted that the economic growth of China following its reform strategy of four decades has benefited not only the people of China but the entire region.

Dato Lim welcomed China’s continued commitment to an open and rules-based multilateral trading system which will augurs well for economic growth of the whole region.

In further reinforcing the importance of multilateralism, Premier Li said China would work closely with ASEAN to bring the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership negotiations to a swift conclusion this year.

Looking ahead, Premier Li also emphasised that differences may arise in ASEAN-China relations but called on for prudence and proper management of such matters so that both sides can focus on the greater interest of the relations.

Premier Li Keqiang is the highest-ranking Chinese official to visit the ASEAN Secretariat. The launch ceremony of the 15th anniversary of the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership was attended by the ASEAN Permanent Representatives, Dialogue Partners, academics and media.

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