|Wang Yi Attends a Video Conference of China-ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting|
On September 9, 2020, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended a video conference of China-ASEAN (10+1) Foreign Ministers' Meeting. Foreign ministers of ten ASEAN member states attended the conference.
Wang Yi noted, in the face of the COVID-19, China and ASEAN countries have supported each other again in time of difficulty, taking the lead in the global fight against COVID-19 and the post-COVID-19 recovery. The leaders of China and ASEAN countries have kept close communication and held the Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on COVID-19, and the Special China-ASEAN Special Foreign Ministers' Meeting on COVID-19 to jointly lead regional cooperation in fighting COVID-19. We have shared experience in the fight against COVID-19 and technologies of diagnosis and treatment, supported each other in epidemic prevention supplies and medical equipment, and jointly supported the World Health Organization (WHO) in playing its due role, making positive contributions to the global public health governance. We have established the "fast lane" to facilitate the resumption of work and production and reached important consensuses on maintaining the cooperation momentum of building the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), strengthening connectivity and ensuring the stability of industrial and supply chains, which has jointly promoted regional economic recovery. Despite the epidemic, China-ASEAN cooperation in trade, economy and investment has risen against the trend, which made ASEAN the largest trading partner of China for the first time. Such practical cooperation demonstrates great potential and broad prospect. With our commitment to fully and effectively implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, we have discussed on continuing the consultation process of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea through flexible approaches to effectively maintain the peace and stability of the South China Sea and the region.
Wang Yi pointed out, after yielding significant results in coordinating the epidemic prevention and control and economic development, China has become the first major economy to regain positive economic growth. China will establish a new, dual-cycle development architecture with the domestic cycle as the mainstay and with domestic and international development reinforcing each other, take firm steps to expand opening-up, and improve the interconnectedness between the domestic and international economies, so as to fuel common recovery of the world with China's recovery. This will first benefit countries in the region including ASEAN member states, and bring new opportunities and inject new energy for bilateral cooperation.
Wang Yi stressed, China will work with ASEAN countries to get prepared for a long fight against COVID-19 and maintain our ongoing response, proactively advance exchanges and cooperation in the post-epidemic era, and jointly cope with the international and regional challenges in order to build a closer community with a shared future.
First is to jointly overcome the epidemic. To this end, the Chinese side is willing to propose a China-ASEAN initiative on public health cooperation, which will put the needs of ASEAN countries as a priority after the vaccine is put into use, establish a "China-ASEAN vaccine friends", and enhance information exchange and cooperation in production, development, and usage of vaccines. China is willing to provide financial support for the ASEAN anti-epidemic fund, jointly build the ASEAN reserve pool of emergency medical supplies, establish the China-ASEAN emergency liaison mechanism, advance the China–ASEAN Human Resources Training Program of Health Silk Road, and explore building more platforms for cooperation.
The second is to promote regional economic recovery with all our strength. The Chinese side is willing to give priority to expanding domestic currency swaps with ASEAN countries, further broadening the scope of application of bilateral 'fast lane', and orderly opening commercial flights. We should also promote the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) within this year, deepen the integration of the Belt and Road Initiative with the development plans of ASEAN, gradually advance interconnectivity projects, and contribute to the acceleration and upgrading of regional connectivity and development. Since this year marks the China-ASEAN Year of Digital Economy Cooperation, we should take it as an opportunity to foster new areas of growth for innovation, development and cooperation, and strengthen the protection of data security as well as policy communication and coordination.
The third is to uphold and promote sustainable development. We will strengthen cooperation in poverty reduction, disaster prevention and mitigation, climate change, and environmental protection, further deepen the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) and the cooperation between China and the East ASEAN Growth Area, advance the synergy between the LMC and the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor, and promote the establishment of a China-ASEAN partnership on blue economy.
The forth is to strengthen the long-term plan for China-ASEAN cooperation. We should push for an early agreement on the Plan of Action to implement the Joint Declaration on China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity (2021-2025), and map out the direction and path for cooperation in all fields in the next five years. We should strengthen exchanges and cooperation in social and cultural fields such as education, culture, media and youth, so as to build a third pillar for bilateral relations.
Wang Yi said, China-ASEAN relations have achieved many firsts. The Chinese side is willing to work with the ASEAN and take next year, the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-China dialogue relations, as an opportunity, to enrich the connotation of China-ASEAN strategic partnership, usher in a new era of cooperation, and bring China-ASEAN relations to a new level, so that this region will continue to be an oasis of peace and a highland of development.
ASEAN foreign ministers said, since the establishment of the ASEAN-China dialogue relations, the two sides have shown mutual respect and mutual trust, carried out win-win cooperation of mutual benefits in a wide range of fields, and become strategic partners with intertwined interests. ASEAN speaks highly of and appreciates China for its strong support and assistance for ASEAN's integration and regional connectivity. China is the first partner to discuss anti-epidemic cooperation with ASEAN. ASEAN praises China's leadership and constructive role in the joint response to the COVID-19. ASEAN is willing to strengthen the connection and policy coordination between its development strategies and the Belt and Road Initiative, continue to deepen cooperation in free trade, sustainable development, digital economy and innovation, and promote ASEAN-China relations to a higher level. ASEAN welcomes the positive progress made in the consultation on the Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea and agrees to speed up the consultation process, and form substantive and effective rules. ASEAN is willing to work with the Chinese side to jointly maintain peace, stability and security in the South China Sea, so as to promote regional development and prosperity.