Economy and Investment

ASEAN and China to Continue Building Mutual Trust and Cooperation

by Duangkamol Buranasomphop

ASEAN and China to Continue Building Mutual Trust and Cooperation

The 7th ASEAN-China Senior Officials’ Meeting on the Implementation of the Declaration of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (SOM on DOC) and the 20th ASEAN-China Senior Officials’ Consultation (ACSOC)

The 7th ASEAN-China SOM on DOC agreed to continue building mutual trust and practical cooperation between ASEAN and China in order to maintain and promote peace, stability and maritime security in the South China Sea. The Meeting stressed the need to pursue the full and effective implementation of the DOC in its entirety, which includes not only project-based confidence building activities but also full observance of the principles and norms of conduct as laid down in the DOC. With regard to the Code of Conduct (COC), while acknowledging the importance of building consensus and expanding commonalities in this respect, ASEAN reiterated the importance of expediting the on-going COC consultation to further substantive discussions towards its early conclusion.

The 20th ACSOC reviewed and discussed ways and means to further strengthen ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership, particularly follow-up to the initiatives and outcomes of the 16th ASEAN-China Summit on 9 October 2013 in Bandar Seri Begawan. The Senior Officials discussed, among others, the major initiatives made by China on exploring the possibility of signing an ASEAN-China treaty on good neighbourliness and friendly cooperation, launching the negotiations on an upgraded ASEAN-China Free Trade Area, enhancing ASEAN-China cooperation in connectivity including the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, enhancing maritime cooperation, and implementation of activities under the ASEAN-China Cultural Exchange Year 2014.

The Senior Officials exchanged views on East Asian cooperation. China reaffirmed its support for ASEAN’s central role in regional frameworks such as the ASEAN Plus Three (ASEAN+3), East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus), and in promoting East Asian cooperation toward the establishment of an East Asian community. ASEAN reaffirmed its adherence to one-China policy.

The Meeting exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual interests and concerns, including, among others, global financial and economic situations and relations with major powers. The Senior Officials also reviewed ASEAN-China cooperation in the field of non-traditional security issues, including food and energy security, climate change, disaster management, counter-terrorism, transnational crimes, cybercrimes, maritime security, and epidemic with a view to enhance cooperation in these areas.

The Meeting was co-chaired by H.E. Sihasak Phuangketkeow, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand and H.E. Liu Zhenmin, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China. Thailand is the current ASEAN Country Coordinator for ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations.



Duangkamol Buranasomphop

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