Outcomes of Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Chongqing

The following is the outcomes of the Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held recently in Chongqing, China, released by the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation yesterday evening:

“The Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was held on 7 June 2021 to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations. It was the first meeting in physical format that ASEAN had with a dialogue partner, since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak early last year.

The Foreign Ministers of ASEAN and China expressed satisfaction on the significant achievements over the last 30 years of dialogue relations covering various areas which resulted in positive impacts on regional peace, stability and security, and the exponential expansion of trade and investment exchanges. They underscored the importance of further advancing ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership by forging closer cooperation, supporting ASEAN Centrality in the evolving regional architecture, upholding multilateralism, and jointly responding to the current regional and global challenges.

On the COVID-19 pandemic response and economic recovery, ASEAN Foreign Ministers applauded China’s leading role and pledge of further contribution to enhance equitable and affordable access to COVID-19 vaccine, including through cooperation with ASEAN on vaccine research, development, and production. The Foreign Ministers of ASEAN and China agreed to enhance cooperation under the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework.

The Meeting agreed to explore the possibility to restore and strengthen regional interconnectedness, including facilitating essential business travel across the region between ASEAN and China, while prioritising public health safety. The Meeting emphasised the need to capitalise on ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement, and to ensure the entry into force of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in 2022. They also agreed to accelerate digital transformation through ASEAN-China partnership on digital economy, step up efforts to narrow the development gap, and engender synergy between the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025 and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The Foreign Ministers of ASEAN and China also exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual interests. On the South China Sea, the Ministers agreed to expedite the negotiation and finalisation a Code of Conduct (COC) that is substantive, effective and in line with the international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS. With regard to the recent developments in Myanmar, the Chinese side reiterated support for ASEAN’s efforts and leading role in assisting Myanmar’s peaceful process for the return to normalcy.

His Excellency Deputy Prime Minister highlighted the tremendous achievements under ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership in wide ranging areas, from political-security cooperation to trade and investment and people-to-people exchange which has brought immense mutual benefits. In recognising the growing significance of ASEAN-China dialogue relations over the last 30 years, he reaffirmed Cambodia’s full support for the elevation of ASEAN-China relations to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

His Excellency Deputy Prime Minister expressed appreciation for China’s goodwill in supporting the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide and in ASEAN region through the provision of vaccines and medical supplies. He underlined the importance of ensuring uninterrupted flow of trade, investment and greater market access facilitation. On regional integration, he called for greater efforts to enhance connectivity and stressed the necessity to translate the ASEAN-China Joint Statement on Synergising the MPAC 2025 and the Belt and Road Initiative into concrete action.

On Myanmar's issues, he applauded the pro-active role of the ASEAN Chair and the ASEAN Secretary General and welcomed the result of their recent visit to Myanmar. He reiterated Cambodia's commitment to support the efforts to implement the Five-Point Consensus of the ASEAN Leaders, emphasising confidence that it would contribute to positive development necessary to support Myanmar's return to the path of normalcy.”

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press