ASEAN, China extend lecture cooperation program

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Officials at the ASEAN (Association of South East Asia Nations) Secretariat expected that the annual lecture program delivered by Chinese scholars for ASEAN staffs and officials would be conducted permanently every year after it was commenced since 2008, a Chinese scholar said in Jakarta on Friday.

Speaking after his meeting with ASEAN Secretary General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, the president of China Foreign Affairs University (CFAU), Zhao Jinjun, said that the ASEAN Secretariat suggested the CFAU to make such a lecture program in each of ASEAN member of states.

"We believed that the lecture would further mutual- understanding and cooperation between China and the ASEAN. The ASEAN Secretariat hopes that the lecture, which was the third one since 2008, would become a mechanical program that was held every year, because they felt that the cooperation between the two sides are much closer and wider, and benefit not only this area but also the whole world for the peace, development and prosperity," Zhao told Xinhua in the ASEAN Secretariat premises in Jakarta.

The China Foreign Affairs University (CFAU) is the only institution of higher learning which operates under the guidance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China (PRC).

Zhao said that to address the ASEAN Secretariat request, the CFAU would use its resources in promoting ASEAN-China cooperation.

He said that to further improving China-ASEAN relationship, China is considering to build a permanent diplomatic institution for the ASEAN in Jakarta.

He said that China would also expand its personnel communication with ASEAN countries. According to Zhao, 100,000 students would be involved in ASEAN-China student exchange programs by 2020.

"We hope all of these training and lectures would help ASEAN diplomats and ASEAN Secretariat officials to have a better understanding on China's politics, economy and culture," Zhao said in his remarks to open the lecture programs.

Besides that, China would allocate 2,000 five-year term scholarships for government officials and 200 public administration officials in countries attending the East Asia Summit.

Zhao said that the CFAU understands that personnel training programs would be the key factor to help develop ASEAN-China relationship.

In 1999 the CFAU provided training courses for 41 diplomats from ASEAN countries. It was continued in 2000, 2002 and 2007 by providing personnel trainings to a total of 60 young and mid-aged diplomats from countries in the region. The programs continued in 2009 and 2010, Zhao said.

(Xinhua News Agency December 3, 2010)

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