One should view China's relationship with its neighboring countries in the broader context of the general trend of development. I believe now the general trend is a positive one. China pursues a policy of building good relationships and partnerships with countries in its neighborhood. We are committed to deepening the mutually beneficial cooperation with other Asian countries. Relations between China and other Asian countries are good, and there are a lot of positive factors.
First, there have been close high-level exchanges. Last year, there were high-level mutual visits between China and the majority of other Asian countries. Take ASEAN countries for example. There were over 50 high-level mutual visits between China and ASEAN countries. High-level exchanges have played an irreplaceable role in guiding the efforts of China and other Asian countries in increasing mutual understanding and friendship.
Second, the interests of China and other Asian countries have become more closely entwined. I have visited some Asian countries recently. I feel the Asian countries want to benefit from the sustained, positive momentum of the Chinese economy. And they hope China will enjoy continuous development.
China has become the biggest trading partner of the majority of its neighbors. Last year, trade between China and other Asian countries topped $1 trillion. China's investment in the Asian region approached $20 billion. Cooperation between China and other Asian countries in science, technology, finance, energy and infrastructure has been unprecedented in terms of both breadth and depth.
Third, mutual coordination has increased. China and other Asian countries have helped each other and worked closely together in handling major regional and international issues, pushing forward regional cooperation and tackling the international financial crisis and major natural disasters.
Fourth, there have been dynamic cultural and people-to-people exchanges. Last year, China and many other Asian countries held cultural and people-to-people exchange activities such as friendship years and youth festivals. These activities have helped improve relations between the Chinese people and the people of other Asian countries.
We are seized by a strong sense of responsibility that the African people have chosen China as their partner for sincere cooperation. China is a developing country, and China wants to work with African countries to build a bright future. Some say that China's influence in Africa is on the rise. I think we should say that the consensus of the international community that African countries face enormous opportunities for development is on the rise.
The international community should actively support Africa's peace and development cause, actively support African countries in seeking self-enhancement through unity and independently resolving African issues, actively support African countries in strengthening their own capabilities for development, and actively support African countries in safeguarding their own rights and interests and playing a bigger role in international affairs.
Both China and India want to see continuous, sound and steady growth of their relationship and they want to enhance exchanges, increase mutual trust and expand cooperation. China and India have agreed on maintaining high-level exchanges, advancing practical cooperation in all fields and intensifying personnel interflow and cultural exchanges. We need to do all specific work well in implementing the important agreements reached at the leadership level, including conducting consultations between the two sides on maritime security and working together to ensure peace and tranquility in the China-India border areas.
China hopes the upcoming BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Summit will achieve important results in three areas: boosting growth, promoting stability, and enhancing cooperation. We hope the summit will help enhance people's confidence in world economic growth and add new impetus to world economic recovery. We hope the summit will bring out the active and constructive role of BRICS countries in international affairs and promote the relaxation and stability of regional situation, help push forward the practical cooperation among the BRICS countries in economy, finance and other fields, and bring real benefits to people of the BRICS countries and people of the world.
China will play host to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit this year, whose theme is to deepen good neighborly relations and plan the future of the SCO. There are three main items on the agenda of the summit: discussing measures for enhancing friendly relations and cooperation under the SCO framework and formulating a strategy on the development of the organization in the next 10 years; planning the next stage of practical cooperation of the SCO, in particular the establishment of institutional safeguards for the financing of multilateral cooperation; and holding an exchange of views on regional and international situations, with a focus on improving the SCO measures in coping with situations that pose threats to regional peace, stability and security.