The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, known as China 's top legislature, on Aug. 26 ratified the Third Protocol Amending the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia.

China ’s Xinhua news agency cited Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai as saying that ratifying the protocol will help exhibit China 's political support for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations - ASEAN and boost ties between China and the European Union.

By the end of last June, two-way investment between China and ASEAN had hit about 80 billion USD. In terms of trade, China was ASEAN’s largest partner, while ASEAN surpassed Japan , becoming China ’s third largest partner.

The Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia was signed in February 1976. It was one of the basic political documents of the ASEAN.

The amendment is the third to be made to the treaty. It paves the way for the European Union officially becoming a party to the treaty.

Earlier in 2003, China ’s top legislature approved the country’s joining of the Treaty and its two previous amending protocols./.