• Thursday, February 27, 2020

China to upgrade FTA with ASEAN

Discussion in 'China & Far East' started by Edison Chen, Nov 22, 2015.

  1. Edison Chen

    Edison Chen SENIOR MEMBER

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    KUALA LUMPUR -- "Eighteen" is considered a lucky number in Chinese tradition - a good sign that the China-ASEAN ties will make a big stride toward a broader space for development, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said here Saturday at the 18th China-ASEAN (10+1) leaders' meeting.

    In Chinese, "18" is pronounced similar to "make a fortune for sure." To make a fortune together with ASEAN, Li pledged the 10-member bloc infrastructure loans totaling 10 billion US dollars, and proposed railway and production capacity cooperation amid closer partnership with the economically converging region.

    CHINESE PROPOSAL ON CHINA-ASEAN RELATIONS

    The China-ASEAN relationship, which transcends bilateral dimension, is becoming an important cornerstone of peace, stability and development of East Asia, said Li, who is in Kuala Lumpur also for the ASEAN-China, Japan and South Korea (10+3) leaders' meeting and the East Asia Summit, as well as a visit to Malaysia.

    At the 10+1 leaders' meeting, Li made a six-pronged proposal on China-ASEAN cooperation.

    He urged China and ASEAN nations to strengthen institution building by implementing their new five-year action plan and the 2+7 cooperation framework.

    The two sides should accelerate the upgrade of trade and economic cooperation, Li said.

    He also called on China and ASEAN to speed up the implementation of the results of the negotiations on an upgrade of their Free Trade Agreement (FTA), and make concerted efforts to conclude as early as possible the negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

    The RCEP is a proposed collective FTA between the 10 member states of the ASEAN and six countries with which ASEAN has individual FTAs: AU.S.tralia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.

    Li called for efforts by China and ASEAN to conjoin China's Belt and Road Initiative with other regional development strategies to promote integration.

    China and ASEAN should also explore cooperation in international production capacity cooperation, and jointly raise the level of cooperation in security, Li said.

    The Chinese premier also asked the two sides to promote the sU.S.tainable development of the region by promoting maritime cooperation, strengthening agricultural capacity construction, building a platform for sharing information on environmental protection and deepening people-to-people exchanges.

    CHINA'S PROPOSAL ON 10+3 MECHANISM

    The resumption of the leaders' meeting between China, Japan and South Korea and the upcoming ASEAN Economic Community will unleash fresh momentum for the development of the 10+3 mechanism, Li said at the 10+3 leaders' meeting.

    He proposed acceleration of economic integration of East Asia. China is ready to join efforts with relevant parties to conclude negotiations of the RCEP in 2016, he noted.

    Li then called for concerted efforts to safeguard financial stability of the region.

    Relevant parties should raise the level of inter-connectivity, Li said, noting that China has been accelerating the construction of a maritime cooperation platform in East Asia so as to boost cooperation in maritime inter-connectivity, research and personnel training.

    Meanwhile, Li urged the parties to carry out international production capacity cooperation and deepen cooperation in agriculture and poverty mitigation.

    The parties should also expand people-to-people exchanges, Li noted, calling on them to actively promote the development of the mechanism of ministerial-level meetings in areas such as tourism, education, culture and news.

    POSITIVE REACTIONS

    Speaking positively of the development of the relations with China, ASEAN leaders present at the 10+1 meeting held that China's development is conducive to the stability and development of the region.

    ASEAN attaches great importance to and values the strategic partnership between the bloc and China, the leaders said, adding that ASEAN and China have much more common interests than divergences.

    The leaders pledged that they would not allow the overall situations of the ASEAN-China relations to be affected by one or two issues.

    The bloc is ready to join efforts with China to lift bilateral relations to a new height and promote peace and development of the region.

    At the 10+3 leaders' meeting, participants spoke positively of China's efforts to pU.S.h for cooperation among the 10+3 members and the significance and influence of the resumption of the leaders' meeting of China, Japan and South Korea.

    They lauded the 10+3 mechanism as the main channel of cooperation in East Asia and the driving force for peace and development of the region.

    The leaders urged further steps to promote East Asia integration, deepen cooperation in trade and economy, finance and investment, increase regional inter-connectivity, accelerate negotiations for the RCEP, encourage people-to-people exchanges, and actively address non-traditional security challenges, so as to promote peace and prosperity of East Asia.
     
  2. TaiShang

    TaiShang ELITE MEMBER

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    ASEAN is China's largest trade partner for 6 consecutive years.

    It is high time to upgrade the CAFTA.

    And it seems ASEAN and China have already signed the deal.

    ***

    China, ASEAN seal deal to upgrade bilateral FTA
    November 23, 2015

    [​IMG]

    Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (5th L) poses for a group photo with ASEAN members' leaders during the 18th ASEAN-China summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Nov. 21, 2015. [Xinhua]

    China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) sealed a deal Sunday to upgrade their free trade area (FTA), injecting fresh impetus into regional economic cooperation.

    A protocol that pronounces the full conclusion of China-ASEAN negotiations on upgrading their FTA was signed at a ceremony in the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center in the presence of visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and leaders of the 10-member ASEAN.

    The upgrade of the FTA, China's first with foreign trading partners, was nailed down after only four rounds of talks that officially started in August 2014, in a sign of the common aspiration and practical need of both sides to deepen and expand cooperation in trade and economy.

    Covering a wide range of areas including goods, services, investment, and economic and technological cooperation, the upgrade will provide fresh momentum for economic development of both China and ASEAN.

    Conducive to fostering a closer China-ASEAN community of common destiny, the move is also to help realize the target of scaling up two-way trade to 1 trillion U.S. dollars by 2020 and promote the negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific.

    In their negotiations, China and ASEAN attached great significance to the facilitation of trade in goods and investment, further opening up the services market and lifting the level of economic and technological cooperation, Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng told reporters after the signing ceremony.

    China enjoys abundant capital and strong technological strength, while ASEAN aspires for accelerated regional integration and has great needs for industrial development and infrastructure, Gao said.

    Therefore, the two sides have compatible concepts of cooperation, complementary economic advantages, and great potential in bilateral collaboration, he added.

    Taking effect in 2010, the China-ASEAN FTA has made China the bloc's biggest trading partner and ASEAN the third largest trading partner of the world's second largest economy.

    Thanks to the FTA, China-ASEAN economic and trade relations have enjoyed heathy and stable development. Bilateral trade surged nearly nine times from 54.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2002 to 480.4 billion in 2014, according to the minister.

    Established in 1967, ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.