The historical relationship between China and ASEAN is the basis of China’s “Maritime Silk Road” initiative. Today, the strategic partnership between China and ASEAN is becoming a model for a new type of international relations. In recent years, in the face of the volatile international situation, China and ASEAN have taken the lead in maintaining regional peace and promoting common development of mankind.
The trend of times has made the relation between China and ASEAN even closer. China and ASEAN hold similar strategic concepts and hope to build a world of inclusiveness, mutual respect and peaceful development. Facing the “America First” and trade protectionism proposed by the Trump administration, China and ASEAN hold a similar position and stand against power politics and hegemonic thinking. The U. S. policy reflects the strategic similarity between China and ASEAN, and deepens the trust and understanding between the two sides.
Historical accumulation has deepened China-ASEAN cooperation. After the reform and opening up, ASEAN is the top priority of China’s good-neighborly friendship. From the Asian financial crisis in 1997 to the international financial crisis in 2008, the strategic partnership between China and ASEAN has experienced real test. In 2003, China and ASEAN established a strategic partnership with common goals of mutual assistance and common development. The accumulation of the policies, emotions and mechanisms mentioned above has made the two sides cooperate quite smoothly under the “Belt and Road Initiative”. Cooperation between the two sides in the fields of economy and trade, macro-policy coordination, infrastructure, maritime rescue, counter-terrorism, culture and education has been progressing with remarkable results.
Future trends will ensure steady and substantial cooperation between China and ASEAN. In 2018, with the approval of China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership Vision 2030, China has become the first country to develop long term relations with ASEAN. The basic concept of “a community of shared future for mankind” advocated by China was included in the document, which means that the vision will become a historic blueprint for the establishment of a community of shared future between China and ASEAN. The development of China-ASEAN relations will also become an important model for the world to examine the new type of international relations and community of shared future proposed by China.