China – ASEAN cooperation has become one of the most dynamic credentials in the Asia-Pacific region’s diplomacy, Wang introduced at the press conference on Thursday.
In 2018, China is getting prepared for three major cooperation activities with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Wang said.
To come up with a new blue print for the China-ASEAN vision for further strategic cooperation; to foster new growth points for cooperation achievements in economics in both trade exchange and people-to-people connection; and to provide support to build the ASEAN community at a higher level, he elaborated.
China continues to be the largest trading partner of ASEAN, and ASEAN is China's third largest trade partner, fourth largest export market and second largest source of imports
Trade volume between China and ASEAN countries hit a record high in 2017. Bilateral trade totaled 514.8 billion US dollars last year, up 13.8 percent year on year, the fastest growth pace between China and any of its major trading partners.
Wang also answered a question raised by a Straits Times reporter on the militarization caused by the construction of the South China Sea.
“At present, we can see opportunities in the South China Sea, as positive trending is dominant,” Wang addressed.
China and ASEAN have reached consensus to jointly safeguard the hard-won status. China and ASEAN are initiating consultation on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea. Both sides discussed ways to manage and prevent incidents at sea, promote dialogue and cooperation on maritime issues, and enhance mutual trust and confidence, Wang said.