Illustrative image. (Source: aseanbriefing.com)

Beijing (VNA) – Spokesperson of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Geng Shuang affirmed on January 4 that China always regards the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) as a priority in its diplomatic policy.

China is ready to support the Philippines in performing its role as the rotating chair of ASEAN as well as promote China-ASEAN ties to a new level, he added.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of ASEAN and it is also the China-ASEAN year of tourism cooperation.

Geng Shuang said that China also hopes to continue working with ASEAN to enhance policy communication and strategic connectivity along with diversifying economic-trade collaboration and pushing for positive results from the upgrading of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (FTA).-VNA