Senior officials of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China gathered in Vietnam ’s central city of Da Nang on March 1-2 to review solutions to strengthen their relations.
The annual meeting, hosted by Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Vinh and his Chinese counterpart Fu Ying, is within the framework of the dialogue relations between ASEAN and China.
At the event, the two sides highly praised cooperation results achieved in various fields, including the active and effective implementation of the 2011-15 Action Plan to implement the joint declaration on ASEAN-China partnership for peace and prosperity in the region. Currently, 86 out of the 175 cooperative projects for the period 2011-2012 have been completed.
Two-way trade between ASEAN and China reached 350 billion USD last year and is expected to reach 500 billion USD in 2015, thanks to the formation of an ASEAN-China Free Trade Area in 2010. China has been ASEAN’s largest trade partner for many consecutive years, accounting for 11.6 percent of the bloc’s external trade, while ASEAN is the fourth largest trade partner of China, accounting for almost 10 percent of China’s trade turnover.
The two sides agreed to implement more action-plan projects and decisions the two sides made at the 14 th ASEAN-China summit in Indonesia last November.
Both sides said they will give priority to strengthening cooperation on connectivity and infrastructure development, disaster management, science and technology and promoting the implementation of agreements relating to their free trade area.
China promised to create favourable conditions for disbursement of additional credits worth 10 billion USD to support connectivity projects in ASEAN.
The ASEAN countries and China reaffirmed their commitment to fully implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), maintain dialogues at all levels and closely coordinate to put into practice the Guidelines for the implementation of the DOC towards the building of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea on the basis of international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Vinh confirmed that Vietnam, as the coordinator for ASEAN-China relations, will make efforts with ASEAN countries and China to further promote ASEAN-China relations, including the effective implementation of the Action Plan 2011-2015, and the DOC for peace, development cooperation and confidence building in the region./.