Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung proposed major orientations for lifting the ASEAN-China strategic partnership to greater heights at the 16th ASEAN-China summit in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei on October 9.

Addressing the event, PM Dung said the two sides should build a regional architecture conducive to peace, stability and development in East Asia, with ASEAN playing the central role.

He urged accelerating economic, trade and investment cooperation and connectivity by maximising the role and effectiveness of existing mechanisms. At the same time, cultural and people-to-people exchanges should be promoted to raise public awareness of the importance of the ASEAN – China strategic partnership.

The PM said ASE AN and China share common aspirations and interests in maintaining peace, stability, maritime security and safety in the East Sea, peacefully settling disputes in line with international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, fully implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties (DOC) in the East Sea and early building the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

He said he believes with strong political will and past successes, the ASEAN – China strategic partnership will develop in both width and depth, contributing to peace, stability and common development in the region.

At the meeting, ASEAN leaders and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang hailed bilateral cooperation over the past 10 years with two-way trade surging to 400 billion USD last year, making China the biggest trade partner of ASEAN, and ASEAN, China ’s third largest trade partner.

Delegates also praised the success of activities held on the occasion of the 10 th anniversary of ASEAN-China strategic partnership, including the ASEAN – China Foreign Ministers’ Special Meeting in China in August this year, the trip of ASEAN regional economic ministers to China and a high-level forum also in August.

Both sides called for stronger cooperation in key areas of trade, investment and connectivity as well as in energy and food security, science-technology, transport, education and health care.

Added to this, they will also effectively realise commitments within the ASEAN – China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA) framework, towards lifting two-way trade to 500 billion USD by 2015.

The Chinese side put forward several proposals aimed at enhancing links with ASEAN, while affirming that China places importance on cooperation with ASEAN. China also stressed that it backs the bloc’s efforts to build the ASEAN Community as well as its central role in the regional architecture.

Both sides vowed to fully abide by their commitments as specified in the DOC and the Joint Statement of the ASE AN – China Summit on the 10th anniversary of the DOC with a view to maintaining peace and stability in the region and the East Sea.

The meeting hailed the launch of official consultations between ASEAN and China at the Senior Officials level on the COC in China this September, and said the two sides should make more efforts towards the COC.

Concluding the event, ASEAN and Chinese leaders adopted a Joint Declaration celebrating the 10th anniversary of their strategic partnership.-VNA