China, ASEAN leaders vow to upgrade cooperation, reject decoupling

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Chinese President Xi Jinping met with leaders of Singapore, Malaysia and Spain on Friday at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, where they discussed ways to further strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation and uphold regional and global stability.

During the meetings, especially with two foreign guests from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), leaders also stressed upholding multilateralism and deepening cooperation in boosting regional and global development, vowing to support the core position of ASEAN and reject Cold War mentality and bloc confrontation.

This strong momentum shows that the cooperation between China and ASEAN won’t be affected by US-led decoupling moves, as such cooperation is rooted in the fundamental interests of the two sides.

Xi said that China and Malaysia have reached a consensus to jointly build a China-Malaysia community with a shared future, which will open a new historical chapter for bilateral relations. He also said that China is willing to work with Malaysia to support the core position of ASEAN, rejecting the Cold War mentality and bloc confrontation.

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said that the China-proposed Global Security Initiative (GSI), Global Development Initiative (GDI) and Global Civilization Initiative (GCI) echo Malaysia Madani – a policy framework that focuses on good governance and sustainable development.

Xi also met with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and said that China is willing to work with Singapore to promote high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), deepen cooperation in fields such as digital economy, green development and new energy, and jointly safeguard regional peace and stability.

Lee said that Singapore supports China’s efforts to uphold multilateralism and free trade, and is ready to work with China to enhance coordination within frameworks such as ASEAN-China dialogue relations, East Asia cooperation and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

Xi also held talks with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, and said that China is ready to work with Spain to deepen strategic mutual trust, expand pragmatic cooperation in various fields, strengthen coordination on major international issues, jointly safeguard multilateralism and free trade, and promote world peace and development.

Sanchez said that Spain attaches great importance to developing relations with China, supports China’s efforts to safeguard its sovereignty, security and development interests, and is willing to actively participate in the BRI cooperation.

ASEAN Secretary-General Kao Kim Hourn also met with Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang on Monday in Beijing, where they agreed to further deepen cooperation in various fields.

Qin said that China is willing to work with ASEAN countries to carry forward the principles of the UN Charter and the spirit of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), and work together to maintain regional rules and order.

Kao said that ASEAN appreciates China’s long-term support for ASEAN’s central role in regional cooperation, welcomes China’s active participation in ASEAN-led mechanisms, and looks forward to strengthening cooperation with China in areas such as pandemic prevention and control, economic recovery, digital economy and sustainable development.

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