MANILA, Philippines --- Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, and presumed successor of current Chinese President Hu Jintao, will attend the opening ceremonies of the 9th China-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Expo in Nanning, China, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has confirmed.
Vice President Xi is expected to formally take the reins next year in China, the world's second-largest economy and fastest-modernizing military power.
Aside from being the vice president, Xi also currently serves as the top-ranking member of the Secretariat of the Communist Party of China, Vice-Chairman of the Central Military Commission, Principal of the Central Party School and the 6th ranked member of the Politburo Standing Committee, China's de facto top power organ.
According to the DFA, Myanmar President U Thein Sein, Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Mohamad Yassin and Thai Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong will also be present during the event to be held on September 21-25, 2012.
Proposed by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at the 7th China-ASEAN (10+1) Leaders' Summit held in Pali Island, Indonesia on October 8, 2003, the China-ASEAN Expo is an annual event convened in Nanning, Guangxi, China since the year 2004.
As a pragmatic endeavor to promote the construction of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (CAFTA), this proposal was well received by heads of state/government of the 10 ASEAN countries, including the Philippines.
This year, some 50 exporters of food, house ware, handicrafts and corporate giveaways will showcase Philippine products at the fair, which is expected to gather traders and investors from all over the world.
Also, among the ten Southeast Asian countries, the Philippines will be this year's featured country.