At the event (Source: VNA)
Beijing (VNA) – Senior officials of ASEAN and China convened the 23rd consultations in the Chinese province of Guizhou on May 19 to review their cooperation across the fields and outline specific tasks for the near future.

The two sides agreed that economic-trade-investment link will continue to be the foundation for bilateral ties, and were committed to effectively carrying out the 2016-2020 Action Plan and soon completing procedures to upgrade the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area towards lifting two-way trade to 1 trillion USD and the total investment to 150 billion USD by 2020.

China pledged to support ASEAN’s central role and help the grouping carry out the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and goals on narrowing development gap, building infrastructure, strengthening connectivity and regional integration, especially via effectively utilising joint funds between ASEAN and China and funding from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

About the ASEAN-China strategic partnership, countries underscored the need to strengthen regional connectivity, including defining common priorities in China’s Belt and Road initiative and the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity. Accordingly, ASEAN asked China to continue providing support for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), infrastructure building and sustainable development in the region.

Turning to the East Sea issue, participants acknowledged the outcomes of the ASEAN-China SOM on DOC on May 18, including a consensus on submitting the draft framework of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) to the ASEAN-China Ministerial Meeting in August for consideration and approval.

They affirmed that it is an initial step forward for the next negotiations on the legally-binding COC for the sake of peace and stability in the region.

Speaking at the meeting, Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung, head of the Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) ASEAN Vietnam, highlighted the East Asia’s development prospect in regional and inter-regional connectivity and the role of ASEAN-China partnership in building the ASEAN Community.

Vietnam will work with other countries to enhance the effectiveness of regional cooperation mechanisms and frameworks as well as the ASEAN+ 3 (China, the Republic of Korea and Japan) mechanism, he said.

On regional and global issues, the Deputy FM underscored Vietnam’s principles and stance on the East Sea, the Korean Peninsula, and non-traditional security issues such as terrorism and trans-national and cyber crimes.-VNA