Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary General of ASEAN, have agreed to strengthen economic cooperation and reach the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) deal at an early date.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (L) meets with Secretary General of ASEAN Lim Jock Hoi in Jakarta, Indonesia, on May 7, 2018.
During a meeting with Lim in Jakarta, Indonesia on May 7, Li said China highly values the cooperation with ASEAN and firmly supports the building of the ASEAN community.
China supports ASEAN's central role in regional cooperation and backs the bloc to play a bigger role in building an open and inclusive regional cooperation mechanism, he added.
On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the China-ASEAN strategic partnership, China is willing to lift the strategic partnership between the two sides to a higher level, Li stressed.
He said in the current economic circumstance of the world, both sides should firmly safeguard multilateralism and free trade, push forward regional cooperation, and promote the RCEP.
Lim, for his part, said ASEAN appreciates China's long-term support to the bloc’s integration process.
ASEAN is willing to further deepen economic and trade cooperation and enhance frequent people-to-people exchanges with China, jointly safeguard a rule-based multilateral trade system and support the early signing of the RCEP, towards bringing more benefit to the people in China and ASEAN member countries, and contributing to the prosperity and stability in the region and the world, he affirmed.
After his trip to Indonesia, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will visit Tokyo at the invitation of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and join leaders from Japan and the Republic of Korea in a trilateralsummit./.