December 13th, 2014

ASEAN Development Forum held in Hong Kong,
officials and scholars from many countries discuss ASEAN strategic plan

APECF Executive Vice Chairman Xiao Wunan attends the first ASEAN Development Forum.

Mr. Korn Dabbaransi (fifth from left first row), a Co-Chairman of APECF and former Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, Mr. Xiao Wunan (third from left first row), Executive Vice Chairman of APECF, Ms. Yang Xiuping (fifth from right first row), Chinese ambassador to ASEAN, pose for a group photo.

December 13 ( – The first ASEAN Development Forum, co-hosted by the Asia Pacific Exchange & Cooperation Foundation and Xinhua News Agency's Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau, was held at the Shangri-La Hotel in Hong Kong on December 13. Nearly 100 honorable guests attended the forum including government officials, experts and business leaders from the 10 ASEAN countries, China and Hong Kong. Participants exchanged views on issues of common concern and discussed the theme "Building Mutual Trust and a Community of Common Destiny". Mr. Korn Dabbaransi, who is also President of the Thailand-China Friendship Association, delivered the keynote speech at the forum.

The forum organizer, APECF Executive Vice Chairman Xiao Wunan, said ASEAN is the largest group of nations neighboring China. The friendly cooperation between China and ASEAN epitomizes East Asian regional cooperation. Walking hand in hand during the 10 year period of "Golden Cooperation", China-ASEAN relations have entered a new historical stage. A mutually beneficial strategic partnership has developed in breadth and depth. The enhanced China-ASEAN FTA and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road will initiate China-ASEAN comprehensive strategic cooperation for a "Diamond 10 years". This is the political will of China and ASEAN countries and the common aspirations of all the people in the region. We believe the cooperation of mutual trust and mutual benefit between China and ASEAN will achieve fruitful results.

Participants said that China-ASEAN relations have entered a new historical stage. A mutually beneficial strategic partnership has developed in breadth and depth. However changing geopolitics meant there has been some noise in the ASEAN area. Some controversial issues, to a certain extent, have interfered with the process of regional integration and the mutual trust and cooperation between China and ASEAN. Regional cooperation mechanisms include Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), etc. China and ASEAN countries need to face and resolve these issues including how to make them complementary and its development coordinated, how to eliminate interference and build mutual trust so as to further promote China-ASEAN relations, handle regional issues in a peaceful and consultative way, keep regional economic prosperity and maintain regional peace and stability.

The scholars and business leaders also discussed topics including how Hong Kong strengthen can its position in the face of the enhanced China-ASEAN FTA, how to further integrate with the hinterland and the outside world so as to maintain its international competitiveness.