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Remarks by H.E. Xu Bu Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to ASEAN At the Opening Ceremony of Canvass Painting Exhibition"Retracing the Commercial Ties and People-to-People Connectivity of China-ASEAN Relations,Perspectives of a Painter"

(From Chinese Mission to ASEAN)

2015/11/09

(ASEAN Secretariat, 9 November 2015)

H.E.Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN,

H.E. AKP Mochtan, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN,

Mr. Lin Difu, Executive Director of the Council for Promoting Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Cooperation

Mr. Feng Shaoxie, Vice President of Guangdong Art Institute,

Permanent Representatives and Ambassadors to ASEAN,

Distinguished Guests,

Dear Friends,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning.

This is the first canvass painting exhibition co-hosted by the Mission of China and the ASEAN Secretariat in this building. I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt appreciation to the elite team led by DSG Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee and DSG AKP Mochtan, whom we could really count on for gracious support and efficient cooperation.

Talking about the value of art, the renowned French writer Victor Hugo demonstrated his wisdom in the preface to Cromwell by saying, "The aim of art is almost divine: to bring to life again if it is writing history, and to create if it is writing poetry." Today, the Mission of China to ASEAN feels honored to share with the ASEAN Secretariat the excitement to bring to life a spectacular history of exchanges between China and ASEAN countries in ancient times, through a series of fine canvass paintings themed "Re-tracing the Commercial Ties and People-to-People Connectivity of China-ASEAN Relations, Perspectives of a Painter".

My sincerest thanks go to Mr. Feng Shaoxie, whose masterpiece paintings are what turned our plans into reality. Mr. Feng serves as Vice President of Guangdong Art Institute and he is also a member of the Chinese Artists Association. Mr. Feng enjoys such a high reputation home and abroad that his paintings have been collected by or exhibited in the Art Museum of Royal Opera in London, Hong Kong City Hall, China National Library, Library of Congress in Washington, National Gallery of Thailand and Zheng He - Duoyunxuan Art Gallery in Malacca of Malaysia. What Mr. Feng will present to us today is a collection of artistic expression inspired by historical ties between China and ASEAN countries, especially the trade routes on the sea. While Mr. Feng will later give you more explanation on his paintings, I would like to share with you some of my own observations.

Geographically, China and ASEAN countries are closely linked to each other and friendly exchanges between our peoples could be traced back to thousands of years ago. The maritime routes for trade between China and ASEAN countries not only brought prosperity and well-being for the peoples in this region, but also nurtured a solid and rich social foundation for a stable, sound and sustained relationship between China and ASEAN countries. With such strength and commitment grown deep in our peoples, communities and societies, China-ASEAN relations are well poised to move toward higher levels and broader dimensions. China has been the largest trading partner of ASEAN for the past six consecutive years and ASEAN being the third largest trading partner of China for four years. Last year, the two-way personnel exchange statistics hit 18 million person-times. These are not just numbers. They are the benchmarks showcasing the current status of China-ASEAN relations, interdependent, interactive and integrated.

China has been, is and will as always be the champion for the development of ASEAN as a whole. That's why China has even greater expectations for the upcoming historic moment by the end of this year: the announced establishment of the ASEAN Community. Furthermore, the year of 2016 marks another historic moment for both China and ASEAN celebrating the 25th anniversary of dialogue partnership between the two sides. In retrospect, we rejoice in the heritage of long-standing friendship. Looking forward, we must be geared to translating this fortune into unstoppable momentum of mutually beneficial cooperation, which will surely bring even more tangible benefits to our peoples.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Through this concrete event, the Mission of China and the ASEAN Secretariat have lived up to our shared commitment in advancing people-to-people exchanges and deepening mutual understanding between the peoples from both China and ASEAN countries. I would like wish the Exhibition a complete success and China-ASEAN relations a brighter future. And I also wish everyone of you a fabulous artistic experience this morning.

Thank you!

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