China is ready to promote maritime connectivity with ASEAN, said its Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying on August 5.

The Chinese national news agency (Xinhua) cited Fu Ying as saying that China will use the 3 billion yuan (473 million USD) China-ASEAN Maritime Cooperation Fund and upgrade ports and boost maritime transport cooperation with ASEAN.

China will host a seminar on China-ASEAN maritime connectivity strategy in the second half of this year, she said, adding that the country is actively preparing for the establishment of a China-ASEAN Committee on Connectivity Cooperation.

Apart from maritime connectivity, China has made efforts to link more closely with ASEAN members over land.

She said in recent years, leaders of both sides have repeatedly emphasised the need to advance connectivity as a key priority area for China-ASEAN cooperation.

China is ready to work with ASEAN to enhance mutual trust, implement the second five-year plan of action and strengthen cooperation in free trade agreement, connectivity, maritime cooperation, and in social and cultural fields, thus raising China-ASEAN strategic partnership to a new level.

According to Fu , China 's foreign policy prioritises strengthening good-neighbourly friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation with ASEAN.

China-ASEAN trade rose from less than 10 billion USD in 1991 to 362.8 billion USD in 2011, representing an average annual increase of more than 20 percent. China has become the largest trading partner for ASEAN, and ASEAN is the third largest for China.-VNA