|The China-ASEAN Women's Forum 2021 is held in Guilin, in South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, on September 12. [For Women of China]|
The China-ASEAN Women's Forum 2021, with the theme "Pool Women's Strength to Jointly Build the Belt and Road," was held in Guilin, in South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, on September 12. With discussion focused on the topic "Women and Sustainable Development in the New Situation," the women's forum was one of the high-level forums during the 18th China-ASEAN Expo. Participants deepened friendships and witnessed fruitful results achieved along the path of promoting women's empowerment and sustainable development.
The women's forum was cohosted by the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF) and the People's Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, in collaboration with Guangxi Women's Federation, the Guilin Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the People's Government of Guilin. The forum attracted more than 140 participants, including officials from China and member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) working on women's issues, diplomats in China, members from the coordination department of the ASEAN-China Center, women experts, scholars, entrepreneurs, foreign students and others involved in women's issues. Participants exchanged views, shared information and practices and reached agreements to build cooperative platforms.
Xia Jie, Vice-President and Member of the Secretariat of the ACWF, also member of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, Yang Jinghua, Deputy Director of the Standing Committee of the People's Congress of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, and Zin Mar Htwe, Minister Counselor of the Embassy of Myanmar in China, attended and addressed the opening ceremony. Li Chu, Mayor of Guilin, gave a welcome message and briefly introduced the city of Guilin. Liu Yongmei, President of Guilin Women's Federation, presided over the ceremony.
Xia Jie addresses the opening ceremony of the women's forum. [For Women of China]
In her speech, Xia said hosting the China-ASEAN Women's Forum 2021 was a significant event, given that this year marks both the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC and the 30th anniversary of the establishment of China-ASEAN dialogue relations. Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the 18th China-ASEAN Expo and China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit, pointing out a direction for creating a higher level of strategic partnership, Xia noted. Believing in the concept of developing mutual understanding and support, she added women of China and ASEAN countries have widely agreed to explore a cooperative mode, which highlights the sharing of information, resources and good practices. The 30th anniversary of the establishment of China-ASEAN dialogue relations means a year of harvesting achievements, and also a year of beginning a new journey. Xia called on women to make greater contributions to creating a higher-level China-ASEAN strategic partnership and building a closer community with a shared future between China and ASEAN countries.
|Yang Jinghua addresses the ceremony. [For Women of China]|
Yang said the forum was held at a moment to start another 10 years of golden time between China and ASEAN countries. The forum, during which information, resources, practices and wisdom regarding women's development were shared, will play a role in advancing women's overall development, deepening the construction of the Belt and Road and promoting the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. She noted the CPC committee and government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region will continue supporting women's friendly exchanges between China and ASEAN countries and will help women make their unique contributions to deepening China-ASEAN cooperation.
|Zin Mar Htwe addresses the ceremony. [For Women of China]|
Zin Mar Htwe said she was glad to be in the beautiful city of Guilin to attend the China-ASEAN Women's Forum 2021. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of China-ASEAN dialogue relations, and practical cooperation in all fields has continuously been deepened. China has been ASEAN's biggest trade partner during the past 12 years, while ASEAN became the biggest trade partner of China in 2020. Sharing experiences and thoughts at the women's forum, participants will surely deepen friendly communications and cooperation between China and ASEAN countries, she said.
Several participants joined a panel to discuss the topic "Women and Sustainable Development in the New Situation." The five guests who gave speeches were: Rukmini Tri Setiati, Minister Counselor of the Embassy of Indonesia in China, Phoxay Thepvilayvon, Counselor in Education and Culture of the Embassy of Laos in China, Joyce Lee, Consultant of Guangdong Working Committee of China-Singapore Chamber of Commerce, Kanintra Suwanmanon, Assistant Manager of Sugar Technology and Biobased Chemical Department of Guangxi Nanning East Asia Sugar Group, and Mu Hong, Director-General of the Liaison Department of the ACWF. Eight participants, including professor Daw Waddy Thwin from Guangxi University for Nationalities, exchanged views during the discussion.
Panel discussion under the topic "Women and Sustainable Development in the New Situation" [For Women of China]
Women's Empowerment Leads to Great Deeds
"We need to launch various practical-training sessions to empower women under the framework of China-ASEAN cooperation," Setiati told the panel. "The Belt and Road Initiative has brought women many opportunities. Women need to improve their sense of gender equality, stay positive and take part in economic and social progress — equally and continuously. In this way, women will benefit the most from the building of Belt and Road."
|Rukmini Tri Setiati (Indonesia) [For Women of China]|
On behalf of the Lao women's delegation, Thepvilayvon expressed sincere gratitude and best wishes to sponsors of the women's forum. "We are grateful to have this wonderful opportunity to communicate with each other, while seeing through our eyes the marvelous landscapes of Guilin," he said.
|Phoxay Thepvilayvon (Laos) [For Women of China]|
Suwanmanon, a doctor from Thailand who works in the field of food biotechnology in Guangxi, recalled the story of her growth, giving an example of how obtaining knowledge has changed her life. "My mother was not quite supportive when I wanted to study for a doctor's degree. She thought women need not be well educated. But her idea did not stop me from moving on. Now, I spend much of my time on research, raising the added value of sugar products by exploring technology innovation. I think I'm doing something meaningful, because my research helps enterprises achieve high-quality and sustainable development. I hope more women will stand out in the cooperation, development and win-win progress between China and ASEAN countries."
|Kanintra Suwanmanon (Thailand) [For Women of China]|
Lee asked about Chinese women and women's federations' work. Mu responded to her timely and she outlined the great importance the CPC and Chinese Government have attached to women's development. Mu talked about women's participation in sustainable development. "We are willing to work with women from ASEAN countries to promote our traditional friendship, deepen communications and cooperation, advance women's overall development and contribute our new strength to build a closer community with a shared future between China and ASEAN countries," she said.
The first China-ASEAN Women's Forum was launched in Nanning, capital of Guangxi Zhuang, in 2006. To date, six women's forums have been held. The purpose of this year's forum was to build a new platform for women of China and ASEAN countries to share information and resources, achieve mutual learning and development in the post-epidemic circumstance, improve China-ASEAN women's friendly exchanges and cooperation and reach common development.
Signing a memorandum on the Action Plan of Women's Federations in Jointly Serving the Belt and Road Initiative [For Women of China]
During the forum, the women's federations of Guangxi Zhuang, Hebei, Inner Mongolia, Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Guangdong, Hainan, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan and Ningxia Hui signed a memorandum on the Action Plan of Women's Federations in Jointly Serving the Belt and Road Initiative. The federations will use China-ASEAN Women's Forum to demonstrate and share women's achievements in entrepreneurship and innovation, help women entrepreneurs communicate, cooperate and establish brands of public welfare. The federations also agreed to establish a lasting mechanism for providing training, enhancing communications and cooperation, sharing resources, achieving win-win results, opening a new chapter of women's work and making new contributions to sustainable development.
In Guilin, participants of the forum visited several villages in Yangshuo County to learn about China's achievements in rural revitalization, administration at the primary level and women's participation in sustainable development. Pham Thanh Ha, First Secretary and Deputy Head of the Political Section of the Embassy of Vietnam in China, described remarkable experiences she had during the visit. "I deepened my understanding of China's efforts in poverty reduction, rural revitalization, the support provided to farmers to develop the green (environmentally friendly) economy and improve the ecological environment. I felt Chinese have gained both material and spiritual happiness," she said. She mentioned the similarities shared by women of China and Vietnam and added she hoped more opportunities will be created to strengthen the emotional ties between women of the two countries.
Participants to the women's forum watch demonstration of handicrafts making. [For Women of China]
(Source: Liaison Department of the ACWF/Translated and edited by Women of China)
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