JAKARTA, 11 April 2017 – The 18th Meeting of the ASEAN-China Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) held yesterday in Jakarta reaffirmed the commitment of both sides to forge closer cooperation. The annual JCC meeting is a key mechanism of ASEAN-China cooperation.

The meeting noted the strong momentum to strengthen ASEAN-China relations. The two sides welcomed the significant progress made in the implementation of the activities and projects in a wide range of areas of cooperation under the ASEAN-China Plan of Action 2016-2020. They agreed to work closely to ensure the plan is effectively implemented to advance cooperation in the coming years.

Progress has also been made in implementing the decisions and initiatives made at the 19th ASEAN-China Summit to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of Dialogue Relations last year. China remains the largest trading partner of ASEAN and the two sides are on track toward achieving the total trade target of USD 1 trillion by 2020, including through upgrading of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement. Cooperation is also enhanced in the field of non-traditional security issues as well as other areas such as disaster management, health and environmental cooperation. ASEAN recognised China’s continued support for ASEAN Community building, including in narrowing the development gaps and enhancing regional connectivity.

Tourism is a focus for 2017 with the launch of ASEAN-China Year of Tourism Cooperation last month to further boost tourist visits and promote greater people-to-people exchanges. Both sides have lined up various activities for implementation throughout the year. The total number of arrivals from China to ASEAN increased by 6.4% to reach 19.8 million in 2016, while ASEAN tourists visiting China recorded 10.34 million, an increase of 57.8% compared with the previous year.

Development cooperation is another key area of ASEAN-China collaboration. ASEAN Member States acknowledged China’s contribution to ASEAN’s community building efforts by supporting activities and projects through the ASEAN-China Cooperation Fund. Both sides will continue to improve the implementation process of cooperation projects to enhance their effectiveness and timely implementation.

The two sides also exchanged views on regional and international issues of common interest and concern.

The meeting was co-chaired by Mr Tan Hung Seng, Permanent Representative of Singapore to ASEAN and Mr Xu Bu, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to ASEAN and attended by the Permanent Representatives of ASEAN Member States and representatives of the ASEAN Secretariat.