Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

Seizing the strategic initiative

By Chen Xiangyang (China Daily) Updated: 2013-10-21 07:11

Visits by President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang to Southeast Asia have paved the way for furthering ties with China's neighbors

October 2013 can be called the"Asia-Pacific month" or "Southeast Asia month" of China's diplomacy. With the 21st APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting and the East Asia leaders' meetings being held in Indonesia and Brunei respectively in succession, China's diplomatic "dream team" set out again.

Seizing the strategic initiative

President Xi Jinping states China's stance on regional economic development on Oct 7, 2013 in Bali, Indonesia. [Photo / bjreview.com]

President Xi Jinping paid state visits to Indonesia and Malaysia and attended the APEC summit from Oct 2 to 8, and Premier Li Keqiang paid official visits to Brunei, Thailand and Vietnam and attended the East Asia leaders' meetings from Oct 9 to 15. Their maiden visits to Southeast Asia and debut in the two summits boosted friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation between China and most Southeast Asian countries, promoted peace, stability and development in the Asia-Pacific region, and won the strategic initiative for China's diplomatic layout in the Asia-Pacific.

Xi's visit to Southeast Asia in October further deepened China-Indonesia and China-Malaysia relations. Both China and Indonesia are G20 members. Bilateral relationships in Southeast Asia and global economic governance are becoming increasingly important, and both sides decided to elevate their relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership. China is Malaysia's largest trading partner, and Malaysia is China's largest trading partner within ASEAN, and the two sides also decided to upgrade bilateral relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

In Indonesia, President Xi Jinping expounded China's "five commitments" on jointly building a closer China-ASEAN community of common destiny through building trust and developing political good-neighborliness; working for win-win cooperation economically and establishing an Asian infrastructure investment bank; standing together and assisting each other on security issues; enhancing mutual understanding and friendship; and sticking to openness and inclusiveness.

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