BEIJING, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping has sent a congratulatory letter to the opening ceremony of 2019 China-ASEAN Year of Media Exchanges, which was held here Wednesday.
The letter was read by Huang Kunming, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, at the opening ceremony.
China and ASEAN countries, as close neighbors linked by cultural bonds and with a long history of friendly exchanges, have deepened strategic communication in recent years, Xi said.
The two sides have made joint efforts in constructing the Belt and Road, advancing people-to-people exchanges, properly handling differences and safeguarding regional stability, he noted.
Saying China-ASEAN relations have entered a new phase of all-around development, Xi stressed the launch of the China-ASEAN Year of Media Exchanges represents an important move toward intensifying their strategic partnership.
"Acting as a bridge in promoting communication, cooperation and people-to-people contacts, media can play an even greater role in the development of China-ASEAN ties," said the Chinese president.
He expressed hope that media from both sides could serve as messengers of friendly exchanges, facilitators of pragmatic cooperation, guardians of harmonious coexistence and good story-tellers on peace and development, making a greater contribution to the building of a closer China-ASEAN community with a shared future.
Huang, also head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, met with some distinguished guests from ASEAN prior to the opening ceremony.
China's neighborhood diplomacy of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness proposed by Xi has pointed out the direction of the country's relations with ASEAN, Huang said.
Saying China-ASEAN Year of Media Exchanges aims to push forward bilateral ties and people-to-people exchanges, Huang called on media organizations to expand and tap potential in cooperation in the spirit of friendly negotiation, equality and mutual benefit.
The ASEAN guests spoke highly of the two sides' media cooperation and voiced their hope to further boost communication and friendship.