On 3 September 2020, the Second Session of 2020 Joint Executive Board (JEB) Working Group Meeting of ASEAN-China Centre (ACC) was held in Huairou District, Beijing. Representatives from Department of Asian Affairs of Foreign Affairs Ministry of China and embassies of ASEAN Member States in China attended the meeting. The meeting was hosted by Ms. Wang Hongliu, Director of General Affairs and Coordination Division of ACC, and co-chaired by Mr. Nguyen Minh Tuan, representative of Embassy of Viet Nam in China and Mr. Ma Xiaohui, Deputy Director of Regional Cooperation Division of Department of Asian Affairs of Foreign Affairs Ministry of China. Heads of all divisions of ACC were present.
Ms. Wang Hongliu thanked JEB members for their strong support to ACC Secretariat. She said that although the dark cloud of pandemic has not totally dispersed from us, all countries in the region are seeking recovery and resuming development under the new normal. The Secretariat has been paying close attention to the pandemic situations of China and ASEAN countries and keeping close contact with all parties concerned, and always stands ready to facilitate AMS and China to enhance the cooperation, coordination and connectivity during and after the pandemic period. In the 2020 ASEAN-China Year of Digital Economy Cooperation, ACC will continue to do its best to push forward the scheduled activities and projects in the relevant fields and its six priority areas, and looks forward to continued guidance and support from all JEB members.
Mr. Nguyen Minh Tuan said that ASEAN attaches great importance to developing friendly relations of cooperation with China. China has remained to be ASEAN's largest trading partner for many years and is one of ASEAN's most important cooperative partners. In the first half of this year, ASEAN became China's largest trading partner for the first time. More recently, the two sides have held a series of important events, including the ASEAN Plus Three Senior Officials’ Meeting (APT SOM), East Asia Summit Senior Officials’ Meeting (EAS SOM) and the opening ceremony of the ASEAN-China Year of Digital Economy Cooperation. In 2021, which marks the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-China dialogue relations, the ASEAN-China strategic partnership will gain a even stronger momentum of development.
Mr. Ma Xiaohui said that since the previous JEB working group meeting earlier this year, many new developments have been made in China-ASEAN relations. The Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Leaders' Meeting held last week achieved great success. For the next step, while adopting long-term and regular pandemic prevention and control measures, China and ASEAN Member States will follow the guidance of China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership 2030 Vision, coordinate anti-pandemic cooperation and socio-economic development efforts to build a closer community with a shared future. The two sides will take this year of digital economy cooperation as an opportunity to foster new growth areas such as digital economy, blue economy and sustainable development, so as to provide strong impetus for regional economic development.
Heads of ACC divisions reviewed the progress of each division since the first JEB working group meeting held in June 2020 and outlined the work plan for the next stage. Representatives of JEB members appreciated ACC's efforts to organise this offline activity at a Beijing suburb, and commended ACC for carrying out productive work despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and put forward ideas and suggestions on the implementation of remaining projects for the rest of the year and work plan for the next year. They pledged full support to and close collaboration with ACC Secretariat as always. By doing so, they wished to achieve even more fruitful achievements of ASEAN-China exchanges and cooperation in various fields.