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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs 18 December 2014  

Cultural exchange year to push China-ASEAN relations to higher stage: Chinese vice president
Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao said on Tuesday that the holding of China-ASEAN Cultural Exchange Year-2014 was to enhance the spiritual link between peoples in the region, increase traditional friendship and push China-ASEAN relations to a higher stage.
Li made the remarks at the closing ceremony of the China-ASEAN Cultural Exchange Year-2014 in Nay Pyi Taw Tuesday night.
He recalled that during this year, China and ASEAN countries jointly organized a variety of over 100 activities including cultural show, film week, car rally which were welcomed by peoples of respective countries.
China was able to made positive progress in jointly building cultural centers with Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia, he said.
He voiced support for ASEAN's Community Building, expressing China's wishes to jointly build the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, deepen the implementation of "2+7 Cooperation Framework" and create a closer China-ASEAN common destiny.
China is the first dialogue partner to have established strategic partnership with ASEAN and also ASEAN's top trading partner as well.
China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (FTA) also represents the biggest FTA among developing countries, he noted.
According to Li, trade between China and ASEAN amounted to 346. 5 billion U.S. dollars in the first three quarters of 2014, up 7.5 percent correspondingly.
In face of international financial crisis, major natural disaster and communicable disease outbreak, China and ASEAN have mutually helped each other and overcome many difficulties, Li said, concluding that China-ASEAN cooperation has become an example for regional cooperation.
He believed that the China-ASEAN cultural exchange year would contribute to regional peace, stability and prosperity. (Xinhua)

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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