Carrying out activities, as the main work of China-ASEAN Centre (ACC), constitutes the foundation of ACC's establishment, development and image. The Memorandum of Understanding on Establishing the ASEAN-China Centre between the Governments of the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Government of the People’s Republic of China positions ACC as a “one-stop information and activities centre” that is committed to promoting ASEAN-China cooperation in trade, investment, education, culture, tourism and media by conducting various activities in these areas. Since its inception in November 2011, ACC has undertaken, on average per year, more than 20 flagship projects, organising over 40 major activities, and co-hosting or attending nearly 200 others. Such efforts have generated good political, economic and social benefits in China and ASEAN Member States (AMS), promoting friendly exchanges and practical cooperation, and making due contributions to the development of ASEAN-China strategic partnership.
After decade-long endeavor in holding and taking part in a large number of activities, ACC has gradually built up its own experience, practice, vision and style.
Firstly, to attach importance to top-level planning and designing. ACC follows closely the changing international landscape and the trend of regional integration, keeps abreast of the latest development of AMS, China and ASEAN-China relations, gains good understanding of the needs of both sides, and plans cooperation projects accordingly. More precise directions and tasks are determined in line with the spirit of ASEAN-China Summit, ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, ASEAN-China Senior Officials’ Meeting, and guided by such important documents as the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership Vision 2030 and Plan of Action to Implement the Joint Declaration on ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity under each year’s theme of cooperation. Meetings of the ACC Joint Council (JC), Joint Executive Board (JEB) and JEB working group are held on a regular basis to conduct in-depth discussions on the priority and key areas of ASEAN-China cooperation, put forward suggestions and make decisions. The ACC Secretariat earnestly fulfills its duty by organising activities in various fields.
(On 17 November 2020, the 10th Joint Council Meeting of ACC was held online.)
Secondly, to stay true to the position of an inter-governmental organisation. ACC came into being when ASEAN-China cooperation was institutionalised after decades-long development. As the sole inter-governmental organisation jointly established by AMS and China, ACC has developed a “brand name” as the “common embassy” of the 11 member states. This is the fundamental position ACC sticks to in carrying out all its projects. Bearing in mind the overall ASEAN-China relationship, the national conditions, domestic and foreign policies of each member state, ACC has kept close communication and cooperation with government authorities in AMS and China, the ASEAN Secretariat, AMS diplomatic missions in China and Chinese diplomatic missions in ASEAN and AMS, to ensure that all activities echo the common aspiration of all parties for greater exchanges and cooperation. ACC always stands fast to this position in line with relevant policies in dealing with enterprises, social organisations, universities, media and other international organisations, and harnesses its strength to play its role as a bridge of communication and a platform of cooperation between ASEAN and China.
Thirdly, to uphold inclusiveness and multilateralism. As an outcome of ASEAN-China multilateral cooperation, ACC is committed to promoting common development through consultation, coordination and collaboration. Guided by the principle of justness and fairness, mutual respect, equality and extensive consultation, ACC takes heed of and solicits opinions from all parties for harmonious cooperation. In the spirit of openness and inclusiveness, ACC seeks complementarity between the Chinese vision and the “ASEAN Way”, so that all parties could benefit from the development of ASEAN-China strategic partnership.
(On 6 September 2020, ACC Secretary-General Chen Dehai attended the 2020 Belt and Road Roundtable on Ecological Industry Cooperation and Development in Xining, Qinghai Province.)
Fourthly, to embrace innovative thinking. The new wave of scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation is profoundly changing the way people work and live, and is bringing rare opportunities for ASEAN, China and our cooperation. Keeping pace with the times and responding to the needs of the situation, ACC endeavors to build on its past achievements and strengthen innovation in terms of project design, content and implementation, and foster new highlights of ASEAN-China exchanges and cooperation. ACC makes conscientious efforts to follow the latest development of various areas in AMS and China, especially new technologies and new forms of business. In light of hot button issues, ACC has been promoting cooperation in the field of innovation, especially digital economy, exploring new prospects for cooperation in sustainable development, marine economy and public health, and building new platforms for people-to-people exchanges such as university alliances and media cooperation forums. ACC takes a flexible approach, and seeks to strike a balance between AMS and China, between capital and non-capital cities in choosing venues for activities, so as to maximize the rippling effect. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, ACC was quick to act and adapt, carrying out activities both online and offline to ensure the success of different projects and move forward the work programme jointly formulated by the two sides, contributing to the sustained, stable and sound development of ASEAN-China relations.
(On 14 October 2019, the launching ceremony of the ASEAN-China University Consortium on Medicine and Health was held in Beijing.)
(On 12 December 2019, ACC Secretary-General Chen Dehai attended the China Pavilion Side Event “ASEAN-China Regional Cooperation on Climate Change” held on the sidelines of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change the 25th Conference of Parties in Madrid, Spain.)
(On 23 October, the 2020 ASEAN-China Media Cooperation Forum was held in Beijing)
(On 9 November 2020, the 2020 ASEAN-China Digital Economy Cooperation Conference was held.)
Fifthly, to hold high the banner of friendship and cooperation. AMS and China enjoy geographical proximity and cultural affinity. Our friendship, which has stood the test of times, sustains the growth of our relations. ACC seeks to consolidate and enhance ASEAN-China friendship while carrying out cooperation projects, and advance ASEAN-China cooperation on the basis of friendly relations. As friendship and cooperation reinforce each other, sustainable development is achieved. In terms of network building, ACC has established and maintained close contact with government authorities, diplomatic missions, enterprises, social organisations, universities, academic institutions, media, and private sectors of AMS and China as well as other international organisations. ACC’s good connection doesn’t stop at capital cities but also extends to different localities. ACC treats each partner sincerely, makes joint efforts to ensure the success of cooperation projects for mutual benefit and deepen friendship. By holding activities of cultural and people-to-people exchanges, ACC aims to enhance heart-to-heart communication among peoples to deepen mutual understanding and trust. In particular, priority is given to young people to promote mutual learning, so that the younger generation will be able to carry forward ASEAN-China friendship and cooperation.
(On 9 November 2019, the Symposium on Vitalizing and Booming ASEAN-China People-to-People Exchanges was held in SISU, Shanghai.)
(From 4 to 6 January 2020, ACC Secretary-General Chen Dehai attended the opening ceremony of the 36th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival.)
(On 24 November 2020, ACC held “Lecture Series on ASEAN-China Relations” at Hainan University.)
Sixthly, to adopt a pragmatic and efficient approach. As a “one-stop activities centre”, ACC places more weight on concrete actions than empty rhetoric, and values implementation, performance and results. Constant efforts are made to improve the operation of flagship projects, and straighten out the workflow for better outcomes. The established projects are translated into action in an efficient manner once comprehensive evaluation and prudent decisions are made, and adjustment could be made if situation changes to ensure smooth progress and expected results. ACC Secretariat has a competent team with a strong sense of responsibility, who immerse themselves in work day in and day out, heading to different places in AMS and China to organise numerous conferences, forums, exhibitions, visits and exchange activities, and carry out cooperation projects in various fields to make sure that ACC’s undertakings will go from strength to strength.