Interview: Cambodian experts laud Xi's pledge to foster closer China-ASEAN ties

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-10-4 9:59:00

Chinese President Xi Jinping's pledge to build a community of common destiny with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has generated enthusiastic resonance in Cambodia.

Xi made the pledge in an address to Indonesian lawmakers on Thursday. He said China is willing to work with ASEAN members to build a more closely-knit China-ASEAN community of common destiny.

"His remarks expressed China's strong commitment to coexistence and common prosperity with ASEAN," said Ros Chantraboth, an adviser to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and a member of the Royal Academy of Cambodia.

"It is a new step of the government and leaders of China to further develop ASEAN-China ties," he said, adding that closer ties between ASEAN and China will lead to a more stable and prosperous region.

The speech, he added, also shows China's intention to resolve all its South China Sea disputes with other claimants "in a peaceful and fraternal manner" for the sake of regional peace and prosperity.

During the visit, Xi and his Indonesian counterpart, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, decided to lift bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

Commenting on the upgrade, Chantraboth said it will not only benefit China and Indonesia themselves but also help boost ties between China and ASEAN at large.

In the eyes of Chheang Vannarith, a Cambodian lecturer at University of Leeds in Britain, China's commitment to building a community of common destiny with ASEAN reflects Beijing's sincerity in and dedication to its friendship and partnership with Southeast Asian countries.

"It also demonstrates the increasing interdependency between China and Southeast Asian countries in sustaining peace and shared prosperity in the region," he told Xinhua.

"China and ASEAN truly share a common destiny. History has shown that without a strong and stable relationship between China and Southeast Asia, the whole region would be faced with conflicts, instability, and poverty," he said.

He added that both China and ASEAN need to invest more in deepening trust and promoting regional interconnectivity.

Chab Sothearith, chief researcher of the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace, said he supports Xi's vision of building a China-ASEAN community of common destiny.

"ASEAN and China have to unite for joint development and prosperity," he said, noting that "China is a huge market for ASEAN countries."

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