The Chinese side reaffirmed its support for ASEAN Community building and ASEAN centrality in ASEAN-led regional mechanisms, and highlighted this year as a milestone year in their relations as it marks the 20th anniversary of China’s accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia.

The meeting highlighted both sides’ developments and took note of the progress made in various areas of cooperation over the past year. Notable progress has been made in various areas of the ASEAN - China Plan of Action 2021-2025 and its annex to advance their comprehensive strategic partnership.

Delegates to the 29th ASEAN - China Senior Officials’ Consultation

Suggestions were made to further promote cooperation under the comprehensive strategic partnership and make the partnership more substantive, meaningful, and mutually beneficial. This included efforts to further enhance the ASEAN - China Free Trade Area, effective implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, connectivity, digital economy, e-commerce, sustainable development, smart cities, tourism, education, public health, and people-to-people exchanges.

The meeting also highlighted this year’s cooperation theme, ASEAN - China Year of Agricultural Development and Food Security, launched on April 25. Both sides looked forward to the execution of projects and activities that will contribute to a more sustainable and resilient region.

Delegates discussed the preparations for outcome documents of this year’s ASEAN - China Ministerial Meeting and Summit. Both sides are also preparing for the signing of a technical cooperation agreement this year which will contribute to the socio-economic development of the region through technical cooperation projects or programs.

In light of the easing of pandemic-related policies and measures in ASEAN member states and China, both sides stressed the need to work towards fully restoring and increasing two-way tourist arrivals, as well as youth and student exchanges.

They also exchanged views on matters related to regional and international development. The meeting noted the need to enhance cooperation to address regional challenges such as terrorism, human trafficking, illicit drug abuse and cybercrime.

Source: VNA