Chinese Ambassador to ASEAN Hou Yanqi emphasized in celebration of China’s 74th National Day that China’s growth is not to advance alone, but to advance together with other countries in the region.
JAKARTA, KOMPAS — Strategic and inclusive cooperation between ASEAN and China, Japan and South Korea is the key to regional growth and stability. This was conveyed by the Chinese Ambassador to ASEAN Hou Yanqi at the commemoration of China’s 74th National Day in Jakarta, Tuesday (26/9/2023).
“Our relationship is equal and mutually respectful. “The ASEAN Plus Three (China-Japan-South Korea) mechanism will be mutually beneficial cooperation for all,” said Hou.
According to him, equality and not interfering in other countries’ affairs are important efforts to build harmony. China’s growth is not to advance alone, but to advance together with countries in the region.
According to Hou, several important things in the current cooperation between China and ASEAN countries are building an electric vehicle ecosystem, such as the Wu Ling project in Indonesia and BYD in Thailand. In fact, in recent developments, Vietnam has also developed domestically made electric vehicles.
This cooperation is also established in infrastructure development and the transportation sector. In Indonesia, China has completed construction of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed train project. The high-speed train project is part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) initiated by China.
On Monday (25/9/2023), the day before the reception, Hou invited his fellow ambassadors to ASEAN to take the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed train round trip. This is the first fast train in Southeast Asia.
Hou said that China was also ready if asked to continue the high-speed train project in Indonesia and other ASEAN member countries. Apart from building the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed train, China has built the Kunming-Yunnan train to Vientiane, Laos, a distance of 1,000 kilometers with a travel time of seven hours. The Laos-China train cuts travel time from Vientiane-Luang Prabang in northern Laos from seven hours to just two hours.
Also read: Laos-China Connected by Train, Game Changer or Debt Burden?
Meanwhile in Vietnam, the Hanoi-China railway line will immediately change the size of the track width in Vietnam, like the track width in China. This is so that trains can move directly from northern Vietnam to southern China in the city of Nanning, Guang Xi Zhuang Autonomous Minority Province.
China is also ready if asked to continue the high-speed train project in Indonesia and other ASEAN member countries. (Hou Yanqi)
In his speech, Hou also said that China’s annual growth reached 6.2 percent or the equivalent of 30 percent of world economic growth. In the first half of 2023, China’s gross domestic product (GDP) will grow by 5.5 percent year on year amidst declining world economic growth.
“So far, nearly 100 million rural residents have been lifted out of poverty and the 2030 UN target for sustainable development has been achieved ten years ahead of target,” said Hou.
Hou said China had built a social security system and health services with the widest coverage in the world so that life expectancy rose to 78.2 years.
He added that Chinese scientists, with continuous updates, have succeeded in increasing development that is increasingly environmentally friendly and reducing carbon emissions. The modernization carried out by China is development that maintains a balance between humans and the environment.
”This year is the 45th anniversary of China’s reform and ten years of the Belt and Road project. “This proves that China cannot grow by isolating itself from the international community,” said Hou.
“China will continue to encourage cooperation and make ASEAN a priority in diplomacy. “China is determined to support the development of the ASEAN community, the centrality of ASEAN, and an increasingly greater role for ASEAN in international affairs,” Hou said.
ASEAN Secretary General Kao Kim Horn in his welcoming speech said that inclusivism and growth and stability are important things for the region. ”The growth of China and ASEAN is important. Chinese investment continues to grow and China also views ASEAN as a center of balance and equal partner. “People to people relations between ASEAN and China are getting closer at this time,” said Kao.
As quoted on the official ASEAN website, in his speech Kao also said that his party hopes to continue to encourage the ASEAN China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership which is “substantive, meaningful and mutually beneficial, and contributes to maintaining regional peace, stability and prosperity”.
Meanwhile, the Indonesian Ambassador to ASEAN, Derry Aman, said that the focus on economic cooperation and growth is a priority in ASEAN’s relations with China. “The electric vehicle ecosystem, information technology, artificial intelligence (AI) are some of the things that are of concern,” he said.
The diplomatic reception for the Chinese Mission to ASEAN was attended by diplomats from friendly countries to ASEAN and diplomats from Western countries.