Asean-China People-To-People Exchange Reaches 50 Million

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Jakarta, 13 July (ANTARA) - The number of people-to-people exchanges between ASEAN member countries and China has increased from 3.87 million in 2003 to 50 million in 2018, and the exchange of students between both sides has exceeded 200 thousand.

"People-to-people exchanges have also grown rapidly. Our friendship has been strengthened through thick and thin by remaining hand in hand. The organizing of the China-ASEAN theme in fields such as science and technology, culture, education, tourism and innovation has added substance to our cooperation and boosted exchanges across the borders," Chinese Ambassador to ASEAN Huang Xilian remarked when delivering a speech at the commemoration of 15th Anniversary of the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnerships here on Thursday.

In addition to people-to-people exchange, the number of student exchanges between Southeast Asian countries and China has exceeded 200 thousand people, he noted.

Xilian affirmed that human bond and socio-cultural cooperation are the pillars in the relationship between ASEAN and China.

"The potentials in advancing cooperation in education, tourism, culture, and sports, and promoting exchanges among the youth, media, and think-tanks are huge," he stated.

According to him, a photo exhibition, which was held with the theme "Living in Harmony" to commemorate the strategic partnership between ASEAN and China for 15 years, shows the spirit of togetherness to build a closer future community together.

"The experiences of the past will guide us towards the future. One most important experience is that we share the vision of common peace and development; believe in the value of "harmony in diversity; and follow the principles of equality and mutual respect, openness and inclusiveness, good-neighborliness, and win-win cooperation," the ambassador remarked.

He explained that Chinese President Xi Jinping has proposed that China and ASEAN will jointly form strategic partnerships at a high level and build a closer future community together.

In May this year, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang made a historic visit to the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta.

"It was here, at the ASEAN Hall, that Keqiang underscored China`s commitment to be ASEAN`s partner in five areas, namely common development, peace, win-win cooperation, innovation, and mutual learning. China would work closely with ASEAN to implement the consensus of our leaders and steer our relations forward to the benefit of our people and the region," Xilian pointed out.