New Perspectives on China-ASEAN
Relations

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New Perspectives on China-ASEAN Relations
(Special Doc.)

At the 76th United Nations General Assembly in 2021, President Xi Jinping proposed the concept of “Global Development Initiative” and “Global Development Community with a Shared Future,” which is widely endorsed and supported by the international community, particularly developing countries, because it is fully in line with human beings. The never-ending quest of progress. The favorable aspects described above continue to accrue, and the prerequisites for the establishment of the “China-ASEAN Development Community” have been fulfilled. 

Mutual trust between China and ASEAN must be fostered 

The “China-ASEAN Development Community” will serve as a new mechanism for strengthening and cementing bilateral ties. It is no longer content with the interconnectivity provided by traditional infrastructure. The advent of the new age ushered in rivalry for new technologies and new kinetic energy, as well as competition for technical standards between China and the United States. It is predictable that this is a rivalry between China and the United States not just about the superiority and inferiority of science and technology, but also about the ASEAN people’s faith in the two nations. 

Many ASEAN countries have historically relied on the United States for security and defense, and Western media has generally impacted public opinion. Although ASEAN’s economic reliance on China has grown over time, populist politics generated from its member nations’ multi-party political systems have had a detrimental influence on people’s view and faith in China in various ASEAN countries. 

China still has to improve ASEAN people’s faith in China, which involves speaking from the ASEAN people’s perspective. Instead of expounding the “Chinese tale” from its own point of view, China should consider the excellent people and acts of bilateral cooperation from the perspective of ASEAN. The effect may be more in accordance with the requirements of the local society, and hence more firmly embedded in people’s hearts. 

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At the moment, China desperately needs people who are informed about and kind toward abroad Chinese. Chinese think tanks have made attempts in recent years to form a worldwide think tank union, which is a welcome new occurrence. However, this is merely the beginning of the process of resolving the alienation. Perseverance and thorough nurturing are still necessary to create solid mutual trust. After all, only deep people-to-people and cultural contacts, as well as mutual learning, can serve as a foundation for growing public diplomacy, and this is the true test of jointly constructing the “China-ASEAN Development Community.” 

M. Raihan Ronodipuro was awarded the Chinese MOFCOM Scholarship and earned a Master of Law in International Relations from the School of International and Public Affairs at Jilin University in China. He serves as an Associate Researcher in the Department of Politics and Security at the Center for Indonesia-China Studies (CICS).