Li vows to enhance strategic co-op with ASEAN

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Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Monday vowed to further enhance strategic cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) meets with Myanmar President U Thein Sein, who is hereto attend the 10th ASEAN-China Expo, in Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Sept. 2, 2013. (Xinhua/Zhang Duo)

Li made the remarks when meeting with some leaders of ASEAN countries in Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

The leaders of some ASEAN countries were invited to attend the opening ceremony of the tenth China-ASEAN Expo and the China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit, which will be held from Tuesday to Friday.

It is the unswerving policy of the new Chinese administration to enhance strategic cooperation with the ASEAN, Li said, noting that China will work with ASEAN countries to beef up solidarity and coordination and seek common development along the right track of East Asia cooperation against the backdrop of a slow recovery of the world economy and of new challenges facing emerging market countries. 

He called on the two sides to upgrade the level of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area(CAFTA) ,establish an investment and financing platform, conduct maritime cooperation and properly resolve differences, so as to push for greater development of China-ASEAN ties in the next decade.

China and the ASEAN announced the start of a free trade area in 2010. 

By the end of June, China's direct investment in ASEAN totaled nearly $30 billion, and direct investment from ASEAN into China exceeded $80 billion.

China was the largest trade partner for ASEAN, and the region was the third-largest trade partner for China. China-ASEAN trade topped $210 billion in the first half, growing 12.2 percent year-on-year.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the establishment of China-ASEAN strategic partnership which has turned into a model of good neighborliness and friendly cooperation, he said.

The leaders invited to the China-ASEAN Expo include Laotian Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong, Myanmar President U Thein Sein, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Singaporean Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean.

(Xinhua News Agency contributed to the story)

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