Illustrative image (Source: thediplomat.com)
Hanoi (VNA) – China welcomes the official formation of the ASEAN Community and considers it an important milestone in the bloc’s integration, according to Xinhua news agency.

The Xinhua news agency quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang as saying on December 31 that the ASEAN Community is the first sub-regional community in Asia and marks a new stage in East Asian cooperation.

He affirmed that as a good friend and partner of ASEAN, China is confident in the bloc’s development in the future and wishes its common community success.

China and ASEAN established their strategic partnership in 2003, Lu said, adding that political trust and practical collaboration between the two sides have made important contributions to peace, stability and development in the region.

The year 2016 marks the 25th anniversary of the bilateral dialogue relationship, which will open up new opportunities for both sides, he stated.

China will continue its strong support for ASEAN’s integration and the ASEAN Community, while hoping to make joint efforts with ASEAN countries to build a more closely related community of common destiny for China and ASEAN, and to strengthen mutual trust and practical cooperation in economics, trade and people-to-people exchanges, he added.-VNA