The inaugural meeting of the Joint Council of the ASEAN-China Centre concluded last week at the ASEAN-China Centre in Beijing. The Joint Council, comprised of ASEAN Member States representatives, China, and the ASEAN Secretariat, approved a number of key documents to facilitate smooth operations of the Center.

After a hoisting ceremony of the Centre’s flag and adoption of the Centre’s logo, the Joint Council Meeting appointed Mr. Ma Mingqiang as the Secretary-General of the Centre who will serve a period of three years. The Joint Council Meeting was preceded by the inaugural meeting of the Joint Executive Board of the Centre on 17 May 2012.

The ASEAN Co-Chair of the Joint Council Meeting, H.E. KanPharidh, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Cambodia to ASEAN, called on the Centre to implement activities that would contribute to the deepening of ASEAN-China cooperation in trade, investment, education, culture, tourism as well as enhancing people-to-people interactions. “We hope the Centre can play a proactive role in strengthening ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership,” said Ambassador Pharidh.

The Co-Chair from China and Ambassador of China to ASEAN, H.E. Tong Xiaoling, hoped that the Centre would play its part in strengthening ASEAN-China cooperation.”We hope the Centre, an inter-governmental international organisation, can run its operations smoothly in promoting ASEAN-China dialogue relations in the areas of trade, investment, education, culture and tourism,”Ambassador Tong said. She also stressed the strong commitment of the Government of the People’s Republic of China to the Centre to its cooperation with ASEAN Member States.

The inaugural meeting of the Joint Council was coincidentally held six months after the launching of the Centre at the 14th ASEAN-China Summit on 18 November 2011 in Bali, Indonesia. ASEAN and China agreed to establish the Centre by signing the Memorandum of Understanding on Establishing the ASEAN-China Centre between ASEAN and China on 25 October 2009 in Cha-Am Hua Hin, Thailand.

The pictures were all taken from the ASEAN-China Centre website