JAKARTA, 12 April 2017 – ASEAN and China reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen their Strategic Partnership at the 19th ASEAN-China Joint Cooperation Committee (ACJCC) meeting held today at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta. The ACJCC meeting, which is held annually to review ways to deepen cooperation, was co-chaired by Singapore Permanent Representative to ASEAN, Ambassador Tan Hung Seng, and Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to ASEAN, Huang Xilian. The meeting was attended by the Permanent Representatives of ASEAN Member States and representatives of the ASEAN Secretariat.
Both sides welcomed the progress in the implementation of the decisions made by the Leaders of ASEAN and China at the 20th ASEAN-China Summit held in Manila in November 2017. The meeting also noted the significant progress achieved by ASEAN and China over the past year, including the implementation of activities and projects under the Plan of Action to Implement the Joint Declaration on ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity for 2016-2020. This included cooperation in a wide-range of areas such as non-traditional security, tourism, agriculture, science and technology, education, health, culture and information, media, and environment.
ASEAN and China agreed to further expand their substantive economic relationship. China is the largest trading partner of ASEAN, while ASEAN is China’s third largest trading partner. Both sides will continue to work towards achieving the target of USD 1 trillion in two-way trade, and USD 500 billion in investments, by 2020. These efforts have been supported by the implementation of the Protocol to upgrade the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA) concluded in November 2015. The meeting noted ways to accelerate economic cooperation, such as the full implementation of the Protocol; exploring greater benefits from trade and investment liberalisation under the Future Work Programme of the ACFTA upgrade; and exploring synergies in new areas such as E-Commerce.
Participants also discussed ways to enhance connectivity, such as the realisation of the ASEAN-China Open Skies to promote greater people-to-people and economic linkages. As ASEAN Chair, Singapore welcomed China’s support for the ASEAN Smart Cities Network to be launched later this year.
Further, ASEAN expressed appreciation for China’s continued support for ASEAN’s Community-building efforts, including the narrowing of the development gap, and China’s support for ASEAN Centrality and ASEAN-led mechanisms.
2018 marks the ASEAN-China Year of Innovation, which will advance cooperation in areas such as technological innovation and the digital economy. Both sides noted the activities that will be held throughout the year, and welcomed the official launch of the ASEAN-China Year of Innovation which was also held today in Beijing.
2018 is also a significant year which marks the 15th Anniversary of the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership. The meeting welcomed the series of commemorative activities, particularly the preparation for the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership Vision Statement 2030, which will chart the future direction of the strategic partnership. This statement is expected to be issued by the Leaders at the 21st ASEAN-China Summit held in November 2018 in Singapore.