CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT OF THE 22ND ASEAN-CHINA SUMMIT, BANGKOK/NONTHABURI, 3 NOVEMBER 2019
CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT OF THE 22ND ASEAN-CHINA SUMMIT, BANGKOK/NONTHABURI, 3 NOVEMBER 2019
CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT OF THE 22nd ASEAN-CHINA SUMMIT
BANGKOK/NONTHABURI, 3 NOVEMBER 2019
1. The 22nd ASEAN-China Summit was held in Bangkok on 3 November 2019. The Meeting was chaired by H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.), Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, and attended by all Heads of State/Government of the ASEAN Member States and H.E. Mr. Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China. The Secretary-General of ASEAN was also in attendance.
2. We were pleased that ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations continued to be strong, stable and mutually-beneficial and that our Strategic Partnership remained dynamic as one of the key pillars of peace, stability, prosperity and sustainability in our region. We were pleased to note that following the adoption of the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership Vision 2030 last year, we have further deepened and strengthened our Strategic Partnership and cooperation in the past one year through substantive initiatives in wide-ranging areas.
3. We welcomed the substantive progress made in the implementation of the Plan of Action to Implement the Joint Declaration on ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity (2016-2020). We looked forward to the development of a new Plan of Action (2021-2025) as a guiding document to further strengthen ASEAN-China cooperation in areas of mutual interest, bringing tangible benefits to our peoples, as well as contributing to the promotion of peace, stability, prosperity and sustainability in the region. We reaffirmed our strong support for multilateralism and regionalism, and for the rules-based international order based on the principles of international law, mutual interests and mutual respect.
4. We reaffirmed our commitment to enhance cooperation to address regional security issues of common concerns. We noted with appreciation China’s continued engagement with the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC) and looked forward to the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding between ASEAN and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on Cooperation in the Field of Non-Traditional Security Issues. In light of the regional efforts to combat illicit trafficking of drugs, we encouraged ASEAN and China to strengthen cooperation in this field through continued engagement in ASEAN Plus China Senior Officials on Drug Matters Consultation.
5. We agreed to further strengthen the robust trade and economic relations between both sides. We noted with satisfaction the increase in the total merchandise trade between ASEAN and China which, according to preliminary ASEAN data, reached USD 479.4 billion in 2018, accounting for 17.1 per centof ASEAN’s total merchandise trade. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows from China to ASEAN amounted to USD 10.2 billion in 2018, accounting for 6.6 per cent of ASEAN’s total FDI. China maintained its position as ASEAN’s largest trading partner since 2009 and, in 2018, China was ASEAN’s third largest external source of FDI among ASEAN’s Dialogue Partners, compared to its previous position in 2017 where it was the fourth largest. We welcomed the progress of the ASEAN-China FTA (ACFTA) implementation including the entry into force of the Protocol to Amend the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Certain Agreements thereunder between ASEAN and China (ACFTA Upgrading Protocol) for all Parties and the ongoing discussions on the remaining elements of the Future Work Programme under the Protocol to improve ASEAN-China trade. We encouraged all Parties to continue efforts to deepen relations under the ACFTA, towards achieving greater economic and trade cooperation. These efforts will support the joint target of two-way trade of USD 1 trillion, and USD 150 billion in investments by 2020.
6. We noted the global outlook in economic and trade performance and the recent moderation of growth. We reaffirmed our strong commitment to upholding an open, inclusive, transparent, and rules-based multilateral trading system as embodied in the World Trade Organization (WTO). We also reaffirmed our support for enhanced regional economic integration. In this regard, we welcomed the conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations and the commitment to sign the RCEP Agreement in 2020. Given the rising tensions and uncertainties in global trade, we firmly believe that the RCEP, once concluded, would provide a solid foundation for an open, inclusive, and rules-based global trade environment.
7. We welcomed China’s support for the ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN) and valued China’s commitment to forging cooperation in developing smart cities and its participation in the ASCN Conference and Exhibition held on 22- 24 August 2019 in Bangkok. We encouraged the establishment of mutuallybeneficial city partnerships between ASEAN cities, in particular ASCN cities, and Chinese cities, such as Nanning, Xiamen, Hangzhou, Jinan, Kunming, Shenzhen, Nanjing and Chengdu, as well as partnerships involving the private sector and other relevant institutions. Reaffirming our commitment to further explore science, technology and innovation (STI) cooperation and collaboration in areas of mutual interests, as well as to achieve innovation-driven development, we adopted the ASEAN-China Leaders’ Statement on Smart City Cooperation Initiative.
8. ASEAN Leaders welcomed China’s support for enhancing ASEAN Connectivity through the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025 to strengthen physical, institutional, and people-to-people connectivity. We welcomed the continuous effort to promote synergies between MPAC 2025 and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as part of the “Connecting the Connectivities” approach, and looked forward to the implementation of such cooperation in an open, inclusive, transparent and mutually beneficial manner. To this end, we adopted the ASEAN-China Joint Statement on Synergising the MPAC 2025 and the BRI.
9. We welcomed the full ratification of the Protocol 2 of ASEAN-China Air Transport Agreement (AC-ATA) and the finalisation of Protocol 3 to expand the Fifth Freedom Intra Package Traffic Rights between ASEAN and China, which will facilitate greater people-to-people connectivity and economic linkages. ASEAN Leaders also congratulated China on the successful convening of the 16th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) held on 21-24 September 2019 in Nanning, with the theme “Building the Belt & Road, Realizing Our Vision for a Community of Shared Future”. Annually held since 2004, the CAEXPO has successfully brought people from ASEAN and China together and created opportunities for trade and businesses.
10. We also agreed to explore cooperation on the blue economy and noted with appreciation China’s proposal to build an ASEAN-China partnership on this area of cooperation, as envisaged in the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership Vision 2030. In this regard, we welcomed China’s proposal to forge closer partnership with ASEAN on blue economy and tasked our officials to continue studying said proposal. ASEAN Leaders welcomed China’s continued commitment to supporting and assisting ASEAN with its efforts to promote sustainable development and sub-regional development cooperation including attainment of the SDGs and to narrow the development gap among ASEAN Member States, including through the implementation of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Work Plan III and its successor document as well as strengthening cooperation under sub-regional cooperation relevant frameworks and mechanisms such as Mekong-Lancang Cooperation and BIMP-EAGA-China Cooperation and dialogue between the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) and China as Development Partner.
11. We applauded the activities held by ASEAN and China to celebrate the ASEAN-China Year of Media Exchanges 2019 including the convening of the High Level Conference on ASEAN-China Media Cooperation and ASEAN-China High Level Media Forum on 23-24 July 2019. The forum, among others, aimed to promote understanding and common knowledge on the developments of media in the region to deepen policy exchanges as well as the sharing of best practices. We also looked forward to the Closing Ceremony of the ASEAN-China Year of Media Exchanges to be held in Thailand at the end of this year. To this end, we adopted the Joint Statement on Strengthening Media Exchanges and Cooperation between ASEAN and China.
12. We reiterated our commitment to closer people-to-people exchanges to promote mutual trust and understanding, including through tourism, education, and cultural interaction. We noted with satisfaction the significant growth of two-way people-to-people exchanges through the tourism sector in the last one year. We looked forward to continuing to strengthen our cooperation in tourism to further contribute to economic and social development. We noted with appreciation that the China-ASEAN Education Week (CAECW) continued to be an important platform, not only for fostering educational cooperation and exchange, but also in cultural communication. In this context, we welcomed the successful convening of the 12th CAECW, which was held on 22-26 July 2019 in Guiyang with the theme “Enhancing Pragmatic Cooperation and Sharing Development Achievements”. We also welcomed the launch of the ASEAN-China Young Leaders’ Scholarship programme, which will contribute towards the development of ASEAN’s human resources and strengthen people-to-people exchanges.
13. We welcomed the convening of the 7th ASEAN-China Health Ministers’ Meeting on 30 August 2019 in Siem Reap and supported the inclusion of Innovations for enhancing quality of health services as a new priority area under the ASEAN-China health cooperation for 2020-2021, adding on the existing priority areas of collaboration for 2019-2020. We also supported the commitment to strengthening innovations for enhancing quality of health services through the promotion of health innovations, quality interventions and ensuring an enabling environment for it.
14. We looked forward to enhancing cooperation in addressing climate change, disaster management, environmental protection and sustainable development to strengthen the resilience of the region. We appreciated China’s commitment to supporting ASEAN in building capacity in disaster management capabilities of ASEAN Member States and AHA Centre through the Project Arrangement on Disaster Management Cooperation. We also looked forward to China’s support and cooperation in the ASEAN Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue (ACSDSD) and the ASEAN Centre for Active Ageing and Innovation (ACAI).
15. We appreciated an additional contribution made by China to the ASEAN-China Cooperation Fund (ACCF) next year and welcomed the launch of the ASEAN-China Cooperation Fund (ACCF) Project Management Team on 18 October 2019, which will facilitate the implementation of ASEAN-China cooperation activities and projects under the Fund. We noted the outcomes of the three Working Group Meetings on “Regional Connectivity and Sustainability: Connecting the Belt and Road Initiative and the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025, “Regional Cooperation for Sustainable Energy Development” and “Environment Protection in ASEAN and China: Challenges and Cooperation” by the Network of ASEAN-China Think-Tanks (NACT) in Malaysia, Viet Nam and Singapore respectively this year. We appreciated the good work of the ASEAN-China Centre in carrying out its task to enhance common understanding between ASEAN and China through educational and cultural programmes.
16. We also recognised the importance of keeping abreast of technological advancements and the digital economy for the benefit of the region’s growth and development. We looked forward to continued ASEAN-China cooperation in the digital economy and e-commerce, to further develop micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the region. In this regard, we welcomed the designation of 2020 as the ASEAN-China Year of Digital Economy Cooperation as an effort to encourage more economic activity in the region.
17. ASEAN Leaders appreciated China’s continued support for ASEAN centrality in the evolving regional architecture that is open, transparent, inclusive and rules-based and hoped that the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, adopted at the 34th ASEAN Summit, would be used as a guide in promoting and exploring cooperation and future initiatives with external partners. Likewise, ASEAN Leaders appreciated China’s active participation in ASEAN-led mechanisms such as the ASEAN Plus Three (APT), East Asia Summit (EAS) and ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). We agreed to further strengthen security and defence cooperation through existing frameworks and mechanisms such as the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus).
18. We reaffirmed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability, safety and freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea and recognised the benefits of having the South China Sea as a sea of peace, stability and prosperity. We underscored the importance of the full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in its entirety. We warmly welcomed the continued improving cooperation between ASEAN and China and were encouraged by the progress of the substantive negotiations towards the early conclusion of an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) within a mutually-agreed timeline. We commended the completion of the first reading of the Single Draft COC Negotiating Text (SDNT) as announced at the ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference (PMC) 10+1 Session with China on 31 July 2019 in Bangkok, welcomed the commencement of the second reading process, and tasked our Ministers and Senior Officials to continue making further progress towards the early conclusion of an effective and substantive COC. We welcomed the aspiration to conclude the COC within a 3-year timeline as proposed by China or earlier. We reaffirmed the need to enhance mutual trust and confidence, exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities and avoid actions that may further complicate the situation, and pursue peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS.
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