Speaking in his capacity as Chair of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Task Force, Bang welcomed China’s active participation in projects within the IAI framework.
He suggested it continue supporting the IAI Work Plan IV with new and practical projects in the five strategic areas of food and agriculture, trade facilitation, micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, education, and healthcare.
The Chinese side hailed its relationship with ASEAN as an outstanding model for Asia-Pacific cooperation, adding that it considers ASEAN a top priority in its neighbourhood diplomacy and supports the bloc in community building and the strengthening of its central role in the regional architecture.
It committed to assist ASEAN in implementing the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework, the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025, and the IAI’s Work Plan IV for 2021-2025.
Apart from the 1 million USD it committed to the ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund, China pledged to donate 5 million USD to the ASEAN-China Community Medical Cooperation Initiative, considering it a highlight project within the framework of the ASEAN-China Cooperation Fund (ACCF).
ASEAN member states spoke highly of China’s contributions over recent years and hoped that both sides would enhance their cooperation to realise the ASEAN-China Plan of Action for 2021-2025, approved during Vietnam’s ASEAN Chairmanship Year 2020, which is considered a lodestar for bilateral cooperation in the immediate future.
ASEAN and China designated 2021 as the Year of Sustainable Development Cooperation.
On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of bilateral ties (1991-2021), China proposed nearly 40 activities covering ASEAN’s three pillars of politics-security, economy, and socio-culture.
The 23rd meeting of the AJCCC is scheduled for 2022.