China-ASEAN trade tranquil despite disturbance
The issue is not one between China and ASEAN, but an issue with one particular member of the bloc. China and ASEAN should not let the disturbance in Vietnam distract from their primary objectives of growth and regional cooperation.
Close cooperation between China and ASEAN is a result of globalization, and contributes to regional stability and prosperity.
Mutually beneficial cooperation has been, and will continue to be a common goal for China and ASEAN, who are both at a stage of accelerated industrialization and urbanization and share similar development goals and tasks.
Trade between China and ASEAN has proved resilient despite the ambivalent world economic recovery and growing protectionism. Trade rose 10.9 percent to 444 billion U.S. dollars last year, exceeding the 7.6 percent increase in China's total foreign trade.
China is the largest trading partner of ASEAN and ASEAN has emerged as China's third largest partner, a major investment destination and an important tourist destination. Behind these figures are frequent person-to-person, capital and information exchanges.
Take investment between China and Malaysia for example. China's leading railway car manufacturer CSR is building a manufacturing and maintenance center in Malaysia, while Malaysia has invested in two industrial parks in southwest China.
As the China-ASEAN synergy takes off, data from SWIFT, a global provider of secure messaging services, showed that Singapore has overtaken London as the second largest yuan offshore center as Chinese companies use it as a stepping stone to ASEAN as a whole.
China and ASEAN are working on a free trade area, the biggest among developing countries, and plan raise trade volume to one trillion U.S. dollars by 2020. With the current state of affairs, the goal is in sight.
Reform in China is invigorating both at home and aborad: the Chinese economy grew 7.4 percent year on year in the first quarter, still at the top of all major economies in the world.
As economic upgrades speed up and more attention is paid to the quality of growth, China still has much to explore in ASEAN.
A review of the past shows that the most important factor in China-ASEAN relations is the peace and stability and the most important experience is to resolving differences through dialogue.
The chaos in Vietnam has cost the country a lot, shattering investor confidence and causing unemployment.
China has always stood ready to solve the dispute through consultation and negotiation. Other countries should show the same spirit instead of making radical moves and going further down the erroneous path.
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