On 10 August 2022, the Second Session of 2022 Joint Executive Board (JEB) Working Group Meeting of the ASEAN-China Centre (ACC) was held in Beijing. Representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of China and embassies of 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, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim 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 continuous support to ACC. She said the year 2022 marks the 55th anniversary of ASEAN and the first year for building the ASEAN-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. As ASEAN-China relations have now entered the “fast lane”, ACC will make continuous efforts to promote mutual understanding and friendly exchanges between peoples of both sides and contribute to regional cooperation and vitalization.
Mr. Sreng Sataro noted that ACC has consistently worked to deepen ASEAN-China exchanges and cooperation during the pandemic and that the AMS embassies in China have worked closely with ACC to enhance mutually beneficial cooperation. He highlighted that peace and stability constitute the foundation for prosperity and development. Despite the ups and downs of the world situation, China has managed to maintain its national economic growth and contribute to regional development. The establishment of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership marks a crucial milestone to provide new opportunities for both sides to further expand cooperation in various areas. ASEAN and China had strong trade cooperation in the first half of 2022, with ASEAN continuing to be China’s largest trading partner. During Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s visit to China last month, President Xi Jinping said China is willing to boost solidarity and cooperation with ASEAN and further unleash new momentum of the China-ASEAN Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. At the recently held East Asian foreign ministers’ meetings in Cambodia, ASEAN and China jointly explored new ways to enhance cooperation, particularly to address COVID-19 and promote economic recovery. He believed that by tackling challenges and acting together, ASEAN and China will be in a better position to withstand the difficulties and seize opportunities to achieve common development.
Ms. Cai Feifei thanked ACC for the thoughtful meeting arrangements. She noted that during the ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers' Meeting held last week, all parties spoke highly of the progress made in ASEAN-China relations since the ASEAN-China Special Summit to Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations held last year and agreed to deepen practical cooperation in multiple fields. The meeting approved the Action Plan for ASEAN-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, which will be submitted to the ASEAN-China Summit for ratification. She said China will continue to fully support and actively participate in ACC’s activities to continuously promote ASEAN-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and jointly build a peaceful, safe and secure, prosperous, beautiful and amicable home.
Heads of ACC divisions reviewed the work progress since the First 2022 JEB Working Group Meeting and outlined the work plan for the next phase. ASEAN and Chinese representatives of JEB members spoke highly of the cooperation between the two sides, and appreciated ACC’s efforts in successfully hosting activities online and offline against the backdrop of the pandemic to deepen ties of friendship. They put forward their ideas and suggestions on the implementation of relevant projects in 2022 and on the work plan for 2023. They pledged full support to and close collaboration with the ACC Secretariat as always to facilitate ACC’s even bigger role in advancing ASEAN-China friendly exchanges and practical cooperation to better benefit the people of the region.