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China-ASEAN foreign ministers to meet in Yunnan on ties

Source:   Time:

BEIJING, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- China and ASEAN foreign ministers will meet Jan. 24-25 in southwestern China's Yunnan Province to detail celebrations for the 20th anniversary of the China-ASEAN dialogue, a senior Chinese diplomat said Sunday.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and his counterparts from ASEAN countries will exchange views on cementing China-ASEAN strategic cooperation, said Assistant Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyue in an interview with Xinhua.

"The meeting will initiate celebrations for the China-ASEAN Exchange and Friendship year. It is of great importance to the enhancement of political trust and the deepening of the bilateral strategic partnership," Hu said.

The meeting will be held in Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province.

China and ASEAN started their dialogue in 1991, and the two sides established "a strategic partnership for peace and prosperity" in 2003.

In Jan. 2010, the two sides inaugurated their free trade zone.

Hu said the two sides have nailed down more than 30 celebration activities. The theme of the celebrations is: "Win-Win, Good Partners."

"We hope the events cement understanding and friendship among people and boost cooperation," he added.

China is ASEAN's biggest trading partner while ASEAN is China's fourth. Two-way trade between the two sides amounted to over 292.78 billion U.S. dollars in 2010, according to Hu.

The two sides have a goal of 500 billion U.S. dollars in two-way trade annually by 2015, when they also hope to have 15 million personnel exchanges.

"We hope to work closely with ASEAN to boost the bilateral strategic partnership to a new stage," he added.

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