Fair held in Beijing to commemorate ASEAN’s 50th anniversary

BEIJING-- Diplomats and officials from China and Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) countries got a glimpse of different handicrafts, including the Philippines' hand-woven textiles and bay-ong (traditional bag), showcased during the ASEAN-China Day Fair held here Thursday.

Co-sponsored by the ASEAN-China Center (ACC), the ASEAN-China Day Fair was one of the series of activities lined-up by ACC in commemoration of the 50th ASEAN Anniversary this year.

"We are hosting this event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of ASEAN and to promote ASEAN-China people-to-people and cultural exchanges," Yang Xiuping, ACC Secretary-General, said in her remarks read during the ASEAN-China Day Fair program.

The Day Fair program has highlighted China's intangible cultural heritage performances like kungfu, kungqu opera, traditional music, calligraphy and magic show.

The diplomats and representatives have been toured in different exhibition booths showcasing ASEAN handicrafts and photos of the historical and tourism sites in the Southeast Asian countries inside the Beijing Yeutan Yaji Intangible Cultural Heritage Center.

"I wish to thank Beijing People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the People's Government of Beijing Yicheng District for their active contribution as co-sponsors of this event," Yang said.

According to Yang, the ASEAN has become an important part of force for regional and global, peace and development since its establishment in 1967.

She said the ASEAN, with the Philippines as its chairman this year, is actively implementing Vision 2025 with a view of elevating and deepening ASEAN Community building.

"This year, against the backdrop of the 50th anniversary, ASEAN has organized a series of activities and launched 'Visit ASEAN@50 Golden Celebration' campaign to showcase the beautiful landscape and rich culture and tradition of ASEAN," Yang said.

The ACC official said people-to-people and cultural exchanges have become a new bright spot in ASEAN-China relations, resulting in 200,000 exchange of students and 32 million visits in 2016.

"These exchanges and cooperation have given a strong boost to mutual understanding and friendship between ASEAN and Chinese people, and played an important role in promoting economic and social development," Yang said.

She also acknowledged the supports given by all ASEAN countries in the first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held last May.

"All 10 ASEAN countries took an active part in it to contribute thoughts and wisdom," Yang said.

Aside from Day Fair, the ACC has also organized other activities to mark the ASEAN's 50th anniversary this year.

These are the New Beginning New Opportunity International Symposium highlighted by trade and investment promotions; ASEAN-China Quality and Sustainable Tourism Development Conference and ASEAN Tourism Photo Exhibition; and, mutual visits by Chinese and ASEAN media.

Yang said the ACC will also organize ASEAN-China Tourism Festival, ASEAN-China Eco-Tourism Development Seminar, Soong Ching Ling Cup ASEAN-China Youth Football Friendly Matches, ASEAN-China Youth Forum on Cultural Heritage Preservation, ASEAN-China Film Festival and other activities to boost people-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and ASEAN.

ASEAN member countries include the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Singapore, Cambodia, Indonesia and Brunei.

In behalf of the ASEAN member countries, Indonesian ambassador to China Soegeng Rahardjo has expressed sincerest appreciation to ACC for organizing the ASEAN-China Day Fair that would further boost people-to-people and cultural exchanges.

"I hope the cooperation between ASEAN and ACC would grow further for positive and better understanding of our respective cultures and traditions," he said.

Source: Philippine News Agency

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