The 25th ASEAN Summit will be hosted in Naypyidaw on the 10th.  Chinese Ambassador to Myanmar Yang Houlan said during a special interview with the Xinhua News Agency that China-ASEAN relations are at a new historic beginning and both sides are willing to promote the strategic partnership and continue the new chapter of strategic cooperation.

Yang Houlan said China and ASEAN are located next to each other and are linked by culture, bloodlines and common interests.  Therefore they are friendly neighbors and natural cooperation partners.

He said that omni-directional cooperation between China and ASEAN has accomplished major achievements over the past decade — a golden ten years of cooperation. China has become ASEAN’s largest trade partner and ASEAN is China’s 3rd largest trade partner. The two sides have achieved omni-directional, multi-layered and broad cooperation.

Yang Houlan said the ups and downs of the past decades fully demonstrate that the fates of China and ASEAN are bound together. The two sides have maintained a great tradition of mutual respect, equality, good neighborly relations and mutual benefits. The two sides have strengthened their trust, deepened their cooperation, promoted cultural connections and achieved profound development in all fields to bring real benefits to countries and people in the region.

He said that China and ASEAN are both at the stage of industrialization and urbanization and share similar development goals and tasks. This year marks the beginning of the 2nd decade of the China-ASEAN strategic partnership. China and ASEAN are standing at a new historic moment and need to seek a new strategic breakthrough to deepen their practical cooperation and enhance the level of cooperation to seek new developments in the strategic partnership.

Yang Houlan said that this year is also the China-ASEAN Cultural Exchange Year and a series of cultural activities have been planned.  In the next 3-5 years, China will provide 15,000 fellowship positions to ASEAN countries and establish more education centers focused on ASEAN countries. China will continue to support the China-ASEAN Center, the China-ASEAN Think Tank Network, and the China-ASEAN Public Health Fund to deepen the social foundation of friendly cooperation.

On Sino-Myanmar relations, Yang Houlan said that China and Myanmar have maintained an upward trend in political, economic, military and cultural cooperation and as long as both sides maintain mutual confidence and a solid tradition of equality, mutual trust and cooperation, bilateral cooperation will embrace a brighter tomorrow.

Link: http://roll.sohu.com/20140509/n399357662.shtml