COVID-19 and cooperation top China's agenda at East Asia FMs meetings
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will attend the foreign ministers' meetings on East Asia cooperation with COVID-19 and economic cooperation top on agenda, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
The 53rd Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers' Meeting and related meetings will be held from September 9 to 12 in the form of video conference.
Wang will attend the meeting on Wednesday, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian announced at a daily briefing.
While commenting on China's expectations, Zhao said China and ASEAN trade maintained robust growth despite COVID-19, and that ASEAN has overtook the EU to become China's biggest trading partner during the same period.
China and ASEAN established the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (CAFTA) in 2010. In 2019, trade volume between China and ASEAN exceeded 600 billion U.S. dollars, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
According to China's General Administration of Customs, the bilateral trade increased by 6.6 percent year on year to 2.51 trillion yuan (about 362 billion U.S. dollars) in the first seven months of 2020.
After the coronavirus outbreak, two sides have worked jointly to control the pandemic and maintain economic stability, Zhao said.
China hopes to work with the ASEAN to further improve pragmatic cooperation in all areas to a new level, and it hopes the ASEAN could work with China with the long-term perspective to consolidate the positive outcome of the COVID-19 prevention and control and boost the regional economic recovery, he said.