The 17th Meeting of the ASEAN-China Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) held in Jakarta yesterday reaffirmed the importance of ASEAN-China partnership and renewed commitments to forge closer cooperation. The Meeting acknowledged the strong momentum to further strengthen ASEAN-China relations. The two sides welcomed the significant progress in the implementation of the activities and projects in a wide range of areas of cooperation under the ASEAN-China Plan of Action (POA) of the period 2011-2015. Both sides agreed to work closely to ensure the new Plan (2016-2020) is effectively implemented to further enhance cooperation in the next five years.
Progress has also been made in implementing the decisions of the 18th ASEAN-China Summit last November including the upgrading of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement to further enhance trade ties and cooperation in environment and public health. ASEAN recognized China’s continued support for ASEAN-Community building beyond 2015, including in narrowing the development gaps and enhancing regional connectivity.
The Meeting discussed plans to mark the 25th Anniversary of the ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations in 2016. A series of commemorative activities will be conducted throughout the year in ASEAN Member States and China to celebrate this milestone. Activities are also being planned under the ASEAN-China Education Exchange Year 2016 which aims to promoting cooperation in education and raising awareness and mutual understanding. The Commemorative Summit, which will be convened in September in Vientiane, will provide the opportunity for both sides to review achievements of ASEAN-China relations and define direction to bring cooperation to the next level.
Development cooperation is a key area of ASEAN-China collaboration. ASEAN Member States acknowledged China’s contribution to ASEAN’s development by sponsoring relevant activities and projects through the ASEAN-China Cooperation Fund. Both sides also agreed to explore ways to further improve the implementation process to enhance the effectiveness and timely implementation of activities and projects. ASEAN and China also updated each other on recent developments in their respective regions.
The annual JCC Meeting, co-chaired by H.E. Tan Hung Seng, Permanent Representative of Singapore to ASEAN and H.E. Xu Bu, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to ASEAN and attended by the Permanent Representatives of ASEAN Member States and Representative of the ASEAN Secretariat, is a key mechanism of ASEAN-China cooperation.