China keen to bolster cooperation with ASEAN hinh anh 1Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on October 26 voiced willingness to bolster cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) during the 24th ASEAN-China Summit held virtually.

The Chinese premier underlined that China always regards ASEAN as a priority in the country’s diplomacy, and backs ASEAN playing a more significant role in regional and international affairs.

He spoke highly of a summit commemorating the 30th anniversary of the ASEAN-China dialogue relations this year.

He added the two sides should promptly finalise negotiations on a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

Li noted that, over the past year, China and ASEAN have substantively resumed negotiations of the Single Draft COC Negotiating Text and made positive progress, despite the impact of COVID-19.

Regarding trade, China is willing to officially launch the joint feasibility study to identify other areas for possible inclusion in further enhancing the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA), the Chinese premier affirmed.

He noted that China and ASEAN countries need to harness their strengths of geographical proximity and industrial complementarity to pursue regional economic integration at a higher level./.