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ASEAN and China




ASEAN and China signed the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation in November 2002, kicking off the process of building ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (CAFTA). In January 2010, CAFTA was fully established.


ASEAN-China two-way trade grew by 10.9% to 443.6 billion USD in 2013. China’s export to ASEAN reached 244.1 billion USD, while ASEAN’s export to China reached 199.5 billion USD. China is ASEAN’s largest trade partner, and ASEAN is China’s 3rd largest trade partner.


ASEAN-China two-way investment has kept growing, totaling 12 billion USD from January to November 2013, in which China’s investment to ASEAN reached 4.52 billion USD and ASEAN’s investment to China reached 7.53 billion USD.


【Functional Cooperation】


ASEAN and China have been cooperating in over 20 areas, including connectivity, finance, maritime cooperation, agriculture, information and communication technology, human resource development, Mekong Basin Development, investment, energy, transport, culture, public health, tourism and environment.


China set up 10 billion USD ASEAN-China Investment Cooperation Fund, aiming to give financial support to major infrastructure projects in ASEAN Member States. China also set up ASEAN-China Cooperation Fund, ASEAN-China Public Health Cooperation Fund and ASEAN-China Maritime Cooperation Fund to support functional cooperation in related areas.


Among the highlights of ASEAN-China cooperation, ASEAN-China Expo (CAEXPO) has been held in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region for 10 times. ASEAN-China Education Exchange Week has been held in Guiyang, Guizhou Province for 6 times.


In November 2011, ASEAN-China Centre (ACC), the only inter-governmental organization between ASEAN and China, was inaugurated during the 14th ASEAN-China Summit. ACC has been mandated to be a one-stop information and activities centre to promote ASEAN-China cooperation in trade, investment, education, culture and tourism.


【Outcomes of the 16th ASEAN-China Summit】


On 8 October 2013, the 16th ASEAN-China Summit was held in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei. The Summit issued a Joint Statement on Commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership.


Chinese Premier Li Keqiang proposed a “2 plus 7” cooperation framework between ASEAN and China. He expressed that both sides should further deepen the two-point political consensus. First, the fundamental issue for promoting cooperation lies in deepening strategic trust and exploring good-neighbourly friendship. Second, the key to deepening cooperation is to focus on economic development and to expand mutual benefit and win-win outcomes.


Chinese Premier Li Keqiang raised a seven-point proposal on the framework of ASEAN-China cooperation for the next ten years: First, to actively discuss the signing of the treaty of good-neighborliness and friendly cooperation between China and ASEAN countries; Second, to launch negotiations on upgrading the China-ASEAN FTA; Third, to accelerate the construction of connectivity infrastructure, advance the construction of Trans-Asian Railway, and prepare for the establishment of the "Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank"; Fourth, to enhance financial cooperation and risk prevention in the region; Fifth, to steadily promote maritime cooperation and build the "Maritime Silk Road" in the 21st century; Sixth, to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in the security field; Seventh, to keep close exchanges in the fields of people-to-people and cultural exchanges, science and environmental protection.


China set concrete targets for ASEAN-China cooperation in important areas as follows:


Trade: to increase ASEAN-China bilateral trade to 1 trillion USD by 2020;


Investment: to realize ASEAN-China two-way investment of 150 billion USD in the next 8 years(from 2013-2020);


Tourism: to meet the goal of 15 million mutual visits by 2015, which has already been realized in 2012;


Education: to realize the double 100,000 students mobility goal by 2020.


In addition, 2014 has been devoted to be an "ASEAN-China Cultural Exchange Year".


Key Indicators on ASEAN-China Relations (2013): Trade




ASEAN-China Trade

443.6 billion USD

(ASEAN Importing 244.1 billion USD /Exporting 199.5 billion USD)

China is ASEAN's largest trade partner, and ASEAN is China's 3rd largest trade partner.

Increased by 10.9% from 2012

 China's Trade with Malaysia

 106.07 billion USD

(Malaysia Importing 45.93 billion USD /Exporting 60.14 billion USD)

 1st among ASEAN Member States

Increased by 11.9% from 2012
 China's Trade with Singapore

75.91 billion USD

(Singapore Importing 45.86 billion USD /Exporting 30.05 billion USD) 


 Increased by 9.6% from 2012
China's Trade with Thailand

71.26 billion USD

 (Thailand Importing 32.74 billion USD /Exporting 38.52 billion USD)


Increased by 2.2% from 2012

 China's Trade with Indonesia

 68.35 billion USD

(Indonesia Importing 36.93 billion USD /Exporting 31.42 billion USD)


Increased by 3.2% from 2012 
 China's Trade with Vietnam

 65.48 billion USD

(Vietnam Importing 48.59 billion USD /Exporting 16.89 billion USD)


Increased by 29.8% from 2012
China's Trade with the Philippines

38.07 billion USD

(the Philippines Importing 19.84 billion USD /Exporting 18.23 billion USD)


Increased by 4.6% from 2012


Source: General Administration of Customs of China



Key Indicators on ASEAN-China Relations (2013): Investment 
 ASEAN-China Investment Total:14.09 billion USD
 ASEAN's Investment to China Total:8.35 billion USD China's Investment to ASEAN Total:5.74 billion USD 
Rank   Country  Investment    Rank  Country Investment 
 1st among ASEAN Member States  Singapore  7.327 billion USD  1st among ASEAN Member States Singapore  2.4 billion USD 
 2nd Thailand   480 million USD 2nd   Laos 800 million USD 
 3rd  Malaysia  280 million USD  3rd  Indonesia  760 million USD


Source: Ministry of Commerce of China


Key Indicators on ASEAN-China Relations (2013): People-to-People Exchanges
ASEAN-China Visitors Total: 18.2 million visitors, increasing by 22% from 2012

China to ASEAN (First Stop) Total:

12.27 million visitations

ASEAN to China Total:

5.99 million visitations





1st among ASEAN Member States


 (approx. 4 million)

1st among ASEAN Member States


(approx. 1.3 million)



 (approx. 1.7 million)



(approx. 1.2 million)



(approx. 1.69 million)


The Philippines

 (approx. 1 million)

 From Chinese source


Key Indicators on ASEAN-China Relations (2013): Students Exchanges

 China to ASEAN

 ASEAN to China

 China to ASEAN Total

approximately 70,000 students

 ASEAN to China Total: 68,493 students



 Students (Persons)

1st among ASEAN Member States












Source: Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China


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