On July 11, 2022 local time, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited the ASEAN Secretariat and delivered a policy speech on renewing the firm commitment to open regionalism, which was chaired by Secretary-General of ASEAN Dato Lim Jock Hoi. Permanent representatives of ten ASEAN member states, diplomatic envoys of countries to ASEAN and senior officials of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as about 120 persons from think tanks were present.
Wang Yi extended congratulations on the 55th anniversary of the founding of ASEAN, saying that China and ASEAN are linked by mountains and waters as well as hearts and aspirations, and are always good neighbors, good friends and good partners with a shared future. Over the past 10 years, thanks to the strategic guidance of President Xi Jinping and leaders of ASEAN countries, China-ASEAN relations have entered the "fast lane" and made accelerating progress.
Wang Yi said that in retrospect, the most encouraging development was that China-ASEAN relations have stayed ahead in many areas. Among ASEAN's dialogue partners, China has the most vibrant and productive ties with ASEAN. The most touching event was that China and ASEAN countries have been standing together in solidarity to fight COVID-19, which was a vivid testament to our deep friendship through thick and thin, and also set a good example of working together to beat the virus. The most heartening progress was the thriving economic cooperation and trade between China and ASEAN. Economic and trade investment soared 100 times and good progress has been made in Belt and Road projects. The most gratifying achievement was that China-ASEAN security cooperation has been making steady progress, differences and disputes are being effectively managed and fruitful cooperation has been carried out in non-traditional security areas. Standing at a new historical starting point, we should take the establishment of a China-ASEAN Comprehensive Strategic Partnership as an opportunity, get off to a good start, make solid steps, and lead the way forward. We should get united, and join hands together to keep China-ASEAN cooperation at the forefront of the times and galvanize stronger force for peace and progress.
Wang Yi said, the past 55 years witnessed an extraordinary path that ASEAN has embarked on, and was also a golden era of Asia's rise and take-off. Asia has become a highland of development, a promising land for cooperation and a fine example of global governance. This year, a number of key multilateral events will be held in the Asia region, global governance has ushered in the moment of Asia, and the international community will listen attentively to the voice of Asia. The key to Asian miracles is that we have adhered to open regionalism: we have respected the diversities among members, practiced the principle of voluntarism, advanced regional economic integration through free trade, promoted regional and sub-regional cooperation via equal consultation, and developed networks of friends worldwide with an open mindset.
Wang Yi said, the world today is not peaceful, and there are two completely different trends concerning the future of Asia. One advocates true multilateralism, a development-first approach and mutually beneficial cooperation; The other pursues a relapse into the obsolete Cold War mentality and closed group politics, and attempts to divide the regional economy into different blocs and even apply the NATO approach to Asia-Pacific security. Today, whether we choose openness or isolation, cooperation or confrontation, solidarity or division, progress or regression will have a fundamental impact on the future of all countries in the region.
Wang Yi stressed, President Xi Jinping has pointed out on multiple occasions that openness is the lifeline of Asia-Pacific cooperation and that we need to uphold open regionalism. Therefore, we choose to join hands with ASEAN members and other regional countries to adhere to the vision of peace, development, independence and inclusiveness, firmly uphold open regionalism and, by drawing experience and wisdom from Asian civilizations and practices, constantly add new dimensions to open regionalism.
Wang Yi said, we need to always uphold the concept of peaceful coexistence, jointly protect our shared home and jointly defend our fundamental interest in peace. We need to always uphold the goal of development and rejuvenation, share development opportunities, and jointly promote integrated development. We need to always uphold the principle of independence and keep our future and the future of our region in our own hands. We need to always uphold the spirit of openness and inclusiveness so that all regional countries could pursue their development and at the same time promote common development, and all can prosper respectively and collectively.
Wang Yi said, as the world's largest developing country and an important member of Asia, China has always followed a path of peaceful development and a win-win strategy of opening-up. We hope to champion open regionalism together with ASEAN and deepen our comprehensive strategic partnership.
First, support ASEAN Centrality and promote solidarity and cooperation in the region. China firmly supports ASEAN's role in the "driver's seat" in regional cooperation, supports ASEAN community-building, and supports the ASEAN-centered regional cooperation architecture. China would like to increase synergy and cooperation with ASEAN on the implementation of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific to produce cooperation outcomes at an early date.
Second, call for settling differences in the Asian way and uphold regional peace and stability. China will work with other countries in the region to implement the Global Security Initiative, blaze a new path of security that chooses dialogue over confrontation, partnerships over alliances, and win-win results over zero-sum game, and put into practice principles for how neighbors may get along: trust as the basis, the greater good as priority, and sincerity in interaction. We are expediting the consultations on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea and will continue to support ASEAN's efforts in building a nuclear-weapon-free zone.
Third, pursue firmly the open strategy for development to promote regional economic integration. We are ready to launch a new round of upgrade of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area as soon as possible, and implement the RCEP across the board and promote its upgrade in due course. China is ready to sign high-standard free trade agreements with more countries, and closely integrate the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and China-ASEAN cooperation.
Fourth, advance cooperation in science, technology and innovation to stimulate new drivers of development in the region. China is ready to strengthen digital connectivity, and explore cooperation on low-carbon, circular and green economy. We will advance barrier- and discrimination-free scientific and technological innovation that transcends borders, implement well the China-ASEAN Science, Technology and Innovation Enhancing Program, and accelerate regional transformation and development.
Fifth, carry forward Asian values to deepen the bonds of friendship among peoples in the region. We are ready to rise above the zero-sum mentality, and deepen our brotherly bond of sharing weal and woe. China will adopt more measures to facilitate the flow of people and discuss the launch of tourism recovery plans at the proper time. We support the development of an ASEAN travel corridor. We will proactively step up exchanges in culture and between the youth, subnational entities, media and women, to promote mutual understanding, amity and affinity between our peoples.
Wang Yi also answered questions on the U.S. role in the Asia-Pacific region, China-ASEAN cooperation to promote global recovery and the root cause of tensions across the Taiwan Strait, among others, on the spot.
On the same day, Wang Yi also met with Secretary-General of ASEAN Dato Lim Jock Hoi.