BEIJING, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- China supports the Philippines in assuming the rotating presidency of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2017, said a Foreign Ministry spokesman on Wednesday.
"China hopes to push relations with ASEAN to a new level," said spokesman Geng Shuang at a daily press briefing.
The Chinese government has always regarded ASEAN as a priority in its diplomacy with neighboring countries, said Geng.
China and ASEAN commemorated the 25th anniversary of dialogue relations between the two sides in September 2016.
During the meeting, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and leaders from the 10 ASEAN members agreed to lift China-ASEAN cooperation to a new level, which demonstrated the firm resolve of the two sides to deepen mutual trust and enhance cooperation, said Geng.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of ASEAN and it is also the China-ASEAN year of tourism cooperation, he said, adding that China is ready to work with ASEAN to enhance policy communication, alignment of development strategies and pragmatic cooperation.
China hopes that the two sides can deepen all-round cooperation, especially in the areas of the economy and trade, interconnectivity and industrial capacity, said Geng.
China is willing to work with ASEAN to implement the third action plan for their strategic partnership and push for positive results from the upgrading of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (FTA).