Wen arrives for summits between ASEAN, partners

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, October 28, 2010
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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao arrived in Hanoi on Thursday afternoon to attend a series of summits between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its partners slated for Thursday through Saturday.

Wen is expected to attend the 13th summit between ASEAN and China, the 13th summit between ASEAN and China, Japan and South Korea, the fifth East Asia summit as well as the summit of China, Japan and South Korea.

The summit meeting between ASEAN and China, the first since the launching of China-ASEAN free trade area on Jan. 1, is expected to invigorate the increasingly strong bilateral ties between the two sides.

Bilateral trade increased 44 percent in the first nine months of this year, registering a record high of 211.3 billion U.S. dollars.

"This is my eighth time to attend ASEAN summit meetings. The situation has changed a lot, but I am still very confident that the meetings will succeed as expected," Wen told reporters on the plane.

"China is developing very fast and both sides have benefited from the bilateral cooperation. Bilateral trade between and China and ASEAN has surpassed 200 billion U.S. dollars as of now and is very likely to surpass 300 billion dollars by the end of this year," he added.

Briefing reporters before Wen's visit, Assistant Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyue, described the visit as "an important event" by head of the Chinese government to strengthen ties with neighboring countries.

"As a key member of Asia, China has vehemently supported and actively participated in East Asia cooperation," he said.

China would, as ever, attend the summits with a view of boosting friendship, deepening regional cooperation and stimulating common development, he added.

Apart from enhancing cooperation and exchanging views on regional issues, the East Asia summit is expected to formally invite Russia and the United States to become members of the forum.

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