On 17 June 2022, the First Session of 2022 Joint Executive Board (JEB) Working Group Meeting of the ASEAN-China Centre (ACC) was held in Beijing. Representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of China and embassies of ten ASEAN Member States (AMS) in China as well as heads of all divisions of ACC attended the meeting. The meeting was moderated by Ms. Wang Hongliu, Director of the General Affairs and Coordination Division of ACC, and co-chaired by Mr. Sreng Sataro, Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) and Minister Counsellor of the Royal Embassy of Cambodia in China, and Ms. Cai Feifei, Deputy Division Director of the Department of Asian Affairs of the MFA of China.
Ms. Wang Hongliu thanked the JEB members for their strong support to ACC. She said the year 2022 marks the entry-into-force of the RCEP and the ASEAN-China Year of Sustainable Development Cooperation. ACC will continue to implement the important consensus reached by leaders of both sides and actively carry out activities under the guidance of the Joint Council and the JEB, making further contribution to the sustainable development and prosperity of the region. ACC stands ready to strengthen communications with all JEB members to better perform its duties.
Mr. Sreng Sataro thanked ACC for the thoughtful arrangements made for the meeting. He noted that ASEAN and China enjoy the most comprehensive cooperation in all areas with satisfactory achievements. At the ASEAN-China Special Summit to Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations held last year, ASEAN and Chinese leaders reaffirmed their common resolve to continue taking ASEAN-China Partnership to new heights through further strengthening and expanding cooperation in various areas. Chinese President Xi Jinping made a five-point proposal to enhance ASEAN-China relations and pledged to continue providing vaccines and development aid to AMS, which ASEAN highly appreciated. ASEAN expresses appreciation to China for its support for ASEAN’s pandemic-related initiatives and economic recovery, and stands ready to make joint efforts with China to expand cooperation on digital economy and cross-border e-commerce, and give a great boost to the post COVID-19 economic recovery and trade. Citing a proverb“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”, Mr. Sataro expressed confidence that with the support and coordination from AMS missions in Beijing, ACC would undertake its comprehensive activities to further develop cooperation in all areas between ASEAN and China.
Ms. Cai Feifei commended ACC’s contributions to the development of ASEAN-China relations. She said China has always regarded ASEAN as a priority in its neighbourhood diplomacy and places great importance to the cooperation with ASEAN in all fields. At the Special Summit last year, President Xi Jinping and AMS leaders jointly announced the establishment of the ASEAN-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, which was a new milestone in ASEAN-China relations. President Xi Jinping called for joint efforts to build a peaceful, safe and secure, prosperous, beautiful and amicable home, which was well received by ASEAN leaders. At the recent 28th ASEAN-China Senior Officials Consultation, all parties spoke highly of ASEAN-China relations and expressed strong willingness to strengthen cooperation in such fields as economy, trade, society, sustainable development and public health, in an effort to promote the ASEAN-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. China will continue to give full support to ACC’s work and actively participate in ACC’s programmes and activities to further advance ASEAN-China relations.
Heads of ACC divisions reviewed the progress of each division since the 11th Joint Council Meeting and outlined the work plan for the next phase. Representatives of JEB members appreciated ACC’s efforts in successfully hosting activities online and offline against the backdrop of the pandemic. They put forward their ideas and suggestions on the implementation of relevant projects in 2022 and had preliminary discussions on the work plan for 2023. They pledged full support to and close collaboration with the ACC Secretariat as always, in promoting ASEAN-China exchanges and cooperation in the fields of trade, investment, education, culture, tourism and information and media.