The third delegation of officials from Mekong countries, upon the invitation of ASEAN-China Centre (ACC), had a series of exchange activities in Beijing on 26 and 27 June.
On 26 June, the delegation visited China-ASEAN Environmental Cooperation Center after attending the welcoming ceremony. Mrs. Zhang Jieqing, Deputy Director of the Center made a detailed introduction about the Center’s work and South-South environmental cooperation. She pointed out that the center continuously implements strategy of China-ASEAN environmental cooperation and action plan, pushes forward the high-level dialogue on environmental policies, promotes exchanges on environmental technology and industry, strategic policy research and personnel exchanges, and provides technological support for China-ASEAN Environmental Cooperation Mechanism. The center will be named as Lancang-Mekong Environmental Cooperation Center which will be a new platform to promote regional cooperation and make new achievement for Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC). Mr. Yan Feng from Asia and Pacific Regional Cooperation Division made an introduction about the projects of Lancang-Mekong environmental cooperation and exchanged views with the delegation.
The delegation made an official visit to Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and had an exchange with Mrs. Cao Jing, Counsellor and Director of Asian Department and National Coordinator of LMC China Secretariat. Mrs. Cao briefed on the development of ASEAN-China relations, especially the new progress of LMC and China’s efforts. She mentioned that LMC is a new sub-regional cooperative mechanism set up by six governments, which is also a key component of China-ASEAN cooperation. LMC is launched by Premier Li Keqiang together with the leaders from the other five countries in Sanya in March 2016. After over one year, the LMC has made encouraging progress, confirming the 3+5 mechanism of cooperation. Till present, one leaders’ meeting, two foreign ministers’ meetings, four senior officials’ meetings and five working groups’ meetings had been held, and remarkable results had been achieved in implementing 45 early harvest projects. The 3rd LMC Foreign Ministers’ Meeting is planning to be held in the second half of this year, and 2nd LMC Leaders’ Meeting is to be held next year. Mrs. Cao hoped that the six countries could work together to well implement the consensus reached in the first Leaders’ Meeting, making full use of social and non-governmental resources to jointly work for new improvement in LMC. The delegates highly valued the endeavours for LMC made by the Chinese side. They also would like to learn experiences of China’s development and strengthen the cooperation in relative areas. Mrs. Cao and the delegation exchanged views on the topics of harmonious development of LMC and other cooperative mechanisms in this region and LMC fund.
On 27 June, delegation visited International Poverty Reduction Centre in China (IPRCC). Mr. Tan Weiping, Deputy Director General of IPRCC comprehensively introduced Chinese poverty reduction policies, its main functions and China’s achievements and experience in poverty reduction, and the poverty reduction cooperation under LMC. He stressed that poverty reduction was one of the five key priority areas of the LMC. To boost cooperation in this area, IPRCC would continue to host the ASEAN Plus Three Village Leaders Exchange Programme, the China-ASEAN Forum on Social Development and Poverty Reduction, capacity building project of Lancang-Mekong countries and joint working group meeting on Lancang-Mekong cooperation. The two sides interacted and exchanged ideas in poverty standard, personnel training and poverty fund.
In the afternoon, the delegation visited ASEAN-China Centre. They were briefed on the mandate and recent activities of ACC, toured the exhibition hall, and had exchanges with ACC officials. The delegates were deeply impressed by ACC’s work to promote ASEAN-China cooperation in the fields of trade, investment, education, culture and tourism. They appreciated the thoughtful arrangements of this visit, hoped that they would take the visit as an opportunity to strengthen cooperation and exchanges in all fields with ACC and wished ACC could make more contribution to Lancang-Mekong cooperation. After that, the delegation made a visit to Summer Palace to experience China’s history and traditional culture.