Published: 17:14, November 22, 2021 | Updated: 17:22, November 22, 2021
Full Text: Joint statement of ASEAN-China Special Summit on 30 years of ASEAN-China ties
By Xinhua

Chinese President Xi Jinping chairs the ASEAN-China Special Summit to Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations via video link in Beijing, China, Nov 22, 2021. (HUANG JINGWEN / XINHUA)

Chinese President Xi Jinping chairs the ASEAN-China Special Summit to Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations via video link in Beijing, capital of China, Nov. 22, 2021. (PHOTO / XINHUA)


We, the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the People’s Republic of China, gathered at the ASEAN-China Special Summit to Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations on 22 November 2021. The Summit was co-chaired by His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and His Excellency Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China;

RECALLING with satisfaction the remarkable achievements attained since the establishment of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations in 1991;

RECOGNIZING ASEAN-China relations are among the most dynamic, substantive, and mutually beneficialpartnerships between ASEAN and its dialogue partners, which has become a good example of regional cooperation andcontributes significantlytopeace, stability, development and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region;

Recognizing that, as close neighbours, ASEAN-China relations over the past 30 years have significantly grown and matured in tandem with both sides’ development;

WELCOMING the meaningful commemorative activities held by the two sides to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations;

REAFFIRMING the important documents that lay the groundworkand chart the course for cooperation between the two sides including the Joint Statement of the Meeting of Heads of State/Government of the Member States of ASEAN and the President of the People’s Republic of China in 1997, the Joint Declaration on ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity signed in 2003, and the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership Vision 2030 in 2018;

FURTHER REAFFIRMING the principles, shared values and norms enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, the ASEAN Charter and the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence andthe East Asia Summit (EAS) Declaration on the Principles for Mutually Beneficial Relations (Bali Principles)as well as universally recognised principles of international law;

RECOGNIZING ASEAN’s leading role in the shaping of the regional economic and security architecture, by promoting close cooperation through ASEAN-led mechanisms, under the principles reflected in the ASEAN Charter, the TAC, and the Bali Principles;

REAFFIRMING the principles of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP), while recognising that it is ASEAN’s independent initiative, being open and inclusive, isintended to enhance ASEAN’s Community building process, and is not aimed at creating new mechanisms or replacing existing ones;

APPRECIATING that ASEAN and China have mutually supported and closely collaborated onCOVID-19 response, and that ASEAN-China cooperation continues to progress despite the challenges of the pandemic, highlighting ASEAN and China's friendshipand solidarity as well asthe resilience and potential of the Strategic Partnership;

EMPHASISING the shared resolve to further strengthen mutual support, assistance, and cooperation in view ofthe daunting task of economic recovery and long-term resilient development facing all countries as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and other global challenges;

ACKNOWLEDGING Leaders’ statements and visions of ASEAN Member States and China at the 76th United Nations (UN) General Assembly in support of the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, including ASEAN’s efforts to promote complementarities between the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the UN 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and China's proposed Global Development Initiative; and

REAFFIRMING the Leaders’ consensus to advance the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership to new heights by forging closer cooperation for a mutually beneficial future of ASEAN and Chinainimportant documents such asthe ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership Vision 2030, and by the full and effective implementation of  the Plan of Action to Implement the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity (2021 – 2025); ASEAN acknowledges China's active efforts to promote closer ASEAN-China cooperation, including China's vision to build a closer ASEAN-China community with a shared future;

Hereby agree on the following:

Overall ASEAN-China Relations

1. Advance ASEAN-China cooperation in all fieldswhich contributes to the building of an open, inclusive and sustainable region that enjoys peace, security, prosperity and sustainable development, jointly announce the establishment of an ASEAN-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership that is meaningful, substantive and mutually beneficial and task our officials to follow up on its implementation;

2. Reaffirm the importance of maintaining ASEAN Centrality in the evolving regional architecture, andsupport for ASEAN integration and Community building, and ASEAN’s efforts to realise the ASEAN Community Vision 2025;

3. Advance cooperation in the relevant areas identified in the AOIP todevelop enhancedstrategic trust and win-win cooperation among countries in the region, as guided by the purposesand principlesof the TAC, including exploring mutually beneficial cooperation with the Belt and Road Initiative;

4. Enhance ASEAN-China cooperation in the post-pandemic era for mutual benefits and long-term sustainable development, including through support for the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF);

5. Advance comprehensive collaboration and enhance mutual trust, deepen political and security cooperation including through ASEAN-leddialogue platforms and mechanismsto maintain peace and stability in the region; promote comprehensive and active economic relations in trade and investment as well as development, and strengthen regional supply chains; foster diversified social, cultural and people-to-people cooperation in all fields; and promote regional and international cooperation;

6. Continue to explore ways to strengthen technical cooperation between ASEAN and China in areas aligned with the needs and priorities of ASEAN and its Member States, including through the launch of negotiations on an agreement on technical cooperation between ASEAN and China;

Political-Security Cooperation

7. Reaffirm our mutual respect foreach other’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, in accordance with international lawand the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries,and reaffirming ASEAN countries’ adherence to one-China policy;

8. Maintain frequent high-level exchanges and policy communication, promote bilateral and multilateral dialogue and exchanges at all levels, and increase sharing of experience on governance to deepen mutual trust;

9. Enhance dialogue and coordination in ASEAN-led frameworks including ASEAN Plus Three (APT), East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus);

10. Strengthen defence exchanges and security cooperation through existing frameworks and mechanisms such as the ADMM-Plus, and the ARF. Continue to implement the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in the Field of Non-traditional Security Issues and its action plan, and jointly address non-traditional security threats and challenges including terrorism and transnational crimes;

11.Support ASEAN’s efforts to preserve Southeast Asia as a region free from nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, while contributing to global efforts on disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy, in line with the purposes and principles of the ASEAN Charter, the TAC as well as in the Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality Declaration (ZOPFAN), and the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ);

12.Reaffirm the importance of upholding international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and continue to promote maritime security and safety, enhance mutual trust and confidence, and maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.Reaffirm our commitment to the freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea, to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability, and to have Parties concerned undertake to resolve territorial and jurisdictional disputes by peaceful means, without resorting to the threat or use of force, through friendly consultations and negotiations by sovereign states directly concerned, in accordance with universally recognised principles of international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS.Remain committed to meeting the aspirations of the Declaration for a Decade of Coastal and Marine Environmental Protection in the South China Sea (2017-2027);

13. Further reaffirm our commitment to fully and effectively implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in its entirety, and emphasise the need to maintain and promote an environment conducive to the negotiations onthe Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC), and look forward to the early conclusion of an effective and substantive COC that is in accordance with international law including the 1982 UNCLOS, within a mutually-agreed timeline;

Economic Cooperation

14. Reaffirm our commitment to the open, free, inclusive, transparent, and non-discriminatory rules-based multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) at its core, and our readiness to make economic globalisation more open, inclusive, balanced, and beneficial to all;

15.Welcome the entry into force of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement on 1 January 2022. Work together for theeffective implementation of the RCEP Agreement, to deliver benefits to businesses and people in the region. Efforts will be made to effectively implement the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA), and the remaining elements in the Future Work Program under the ACFTA Upgrading Protocol and to also expeditiously conduct a Joint Feasibility Study to identify other areas for possible inclusion in further enhancing the ACFTA, including by creating more trade opportunities in digital economy and fostering new sources of growth for cooperation, working towards a more inclusive, modern, comprehensive, and mutually beneficial ASEAN-China Free Trade Area;

16. Step up the implementation of the ASEAN-China Joint Statement on Synergising the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025 and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in carrying out mutually beneficial and high-quality cooperation, and encourage support from financial institutions, including the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, where relevant, to achieve the goal of high-standard, people-oriented, people-centred, and sustainable development;

17. Explore synergies between the ASEAN Digital Masterplan 2025 andthe Initiative on Building ASEAN-China Partnership on Digital Economy and its Action Plan and enhance cooperation in digital economy, smart city development, artificial intelligence, e-commerce, big data, 5G use cases, digital transformation, and cyber and data security as we embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR);

18. Build a closer partnership in science, technology and innovation, includingthrough jointly formulating and implementing the ASEAN-China Plan of Action on a Closer Partnership of Science, Technology and Innovation for Future (2021-2025) to connect our strategies of innovative development and foster new impetus for cooperation;

19. Explore cooperation on low-carbon, circular and green economy by following the trend of the latest science and technology developments and industrial transformation, including through sustainable economic models and initiatives as inspired by regional and national action plans such as the Belt and Road Partnership on Green Development and the Bio, Circular and Green Economy;

20. Enhance cooperation to pursue innovative, coordinated,open, inclusive and sustainable development that puts people at the centre;

21. Promote cooperation on new energy technologies, green investment and finance, and other fields, and work for the restructuring and upgrading of economy, energy systems and industry to realise sustainable green growthand low-carbon development;

22. Continue to encourage partnershipon blue economy between ASEAN and China and promote marine ecosystem conservation and sustainable use of the ocean, seas and marine resources;

23. Continue to enhance cooperation under the frameworks of ASEAN-China Customs Directors-General Consultation, and ASEAN-China Ministerial Meeting on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Cooperation, through the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Governments of the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on Strengthening SPS Cooperation;

Social-Cultural Cooperation

24. Strengthen cooperation on public health includingcooperation on COVID-19 vaccines and support ASEAN’s effortstowards vaccine security and self-reliance for all through timely equitable access to affordable and qualityvaccinesin the region; implement in earnest the ASEAN-China Memorandum of Understanding on HealthCooperationand the ASEAN-China Public Health Cooperation Initiative: Program on Public Health Emergency Preparedness Capacity (PROMPT) to enhance institutional capacity building to better cope with challenges from future public health emergencies, and promote health for all;

25. Continue to support the implementation of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Work Plan IV (2021–2025), and welcome the strengthening of cooperation within the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC), the BIMP-EAGA-China Cooperation (BECC) and other relevant sub-regional frameworks and mechanisms to narrow the development gap in ASEAN;

26. Strengthen cooperation on climate change, biodiversity conservation, environmental protection, low-carbon solutions, clean energy,sustainable cities and rural development, and support the implementation of the Framework of ASEAN-China Environmental Cooperation Strategy and Action Plan (2021-2025) to promote green and sustainable recovery and high-quality development in the region;

27. Enhance and promote cooperation on disaster prevention, mitigation and relief through the ASEAN-China Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Management (AMMDM Plus China), and improve capacity building and disaster response coordination in the region;

28. Continue to enhance cooperation on education,including the early resumption of entry into China by international students from ASEAN Member States in a healthy, safe, and orderly way, as well as on culture, tourism, media, human resources and exchanges among the youth, think-tanks and local governments including through the positive role the ASEAN-China Centre has played in promoting socio-cultural and people-to-people exchanges between the two sides over the past decade since its establishment;

29. Explore the use of the ASEAN-China Cooperation Fund (ACCF) and other funding sources to further develop more flagship projects for people-to-people exchanges includingthe ASEAN-China Young Leaders’ Scholarship (ACYLS) to forge affinities among the people;

Regional and International Cooperation

30. Reaffirm the commitment to multilateralism, maintain an open and inclusive regional cooperation framework, support ASEAN Centrality in the evolving regional architecture, and realise an international system, founded on the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and based on international law, and the principles of inclusivity, transparency, fairness and justice, openness, mutual benefit and mutual respect in jointly responding to regional and global challenges; and

31. Continue to strengthen communication and cooperation on international and regional affairs, especially on issues of common interest such as climate change, public health, biodiversity conservation, and food and energy security; reaffirm China’s support to ASEAN in playing a bigger role in the United Nations, G20, and Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).