From the Asian financial crisis to the global financial crisis, each crisis has led to closer ties and deeper cooperation between China and ASEAN, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Sunday.
Wang made the remarks at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual national legislative session.
Thanks to the efforts from both sides, the cooperation between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) increased despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Wang said.
China-ASEAN trade in goods grew by 6.1 percent during the first quarter to more than 140 billion U.S. dollars, making ASEAN China's biggest trading partner.
"This is a vote of confidence in each other's development prospects even though we are confronted by a common challenge," Wang said.
"What does not kill us makes us stronger, and we are stronger in the broken places," he continued.
Wang said China will always regard ASEAN as a priority in its neighborhood diplomacy, support ASEAN's central position in East Asian regional cooperation, uphold the spirit of "mutual trust, mutual understanding, mutual benefit and mutual assistance" with ASEAN countries and push forward closer bilateral relations.
China and ASEAN will deepen cooperation in various sectors such as public health and environmental protection, safeguard multilateral trading system, promote people-to-people exchange in a bid to benefit people from both sides, he added.
Noting that next year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of China-ASEAN dialogue relations, Wang said with the maturity and confidence this relationship has gained in the past three decades, China and ASEAN will take more solid steps forward in forging a closer community with a shared future.