عربي Español Русский Français 简体中文

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations

(ASEAN)

2000/11/15
【Date of Establishment】


On August 7-8,1967, the Foreign Ministers of Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand and Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia met in Bangkok and issued the Bangkok Declaration, which formally proclaimed the establishment of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN in abbreviation).


【Aims and Purposes】


(1) To accelerate the economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region through joint endeavors in the spirit of equality and partnership.


(2) To promote regional peace and stability through abiding respect for justice and the norms governing international relations and adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter.


(3) To promote collaboration and mutual assistance on matters in the economic, social, cultural, technical, scientific and etc. fields.


(4) To provide assistance to each other in the form of training and research facilities in the educational, professional, technical and administration spheres.


(5) To collaborate more effectively for the greater utilization of their agriculture and industries, the expansion of their trade including the improvement of their transportation and communication facilities and the raising of the living standards of their peoples.


(6) To promote Southeast Asian studies.


(7) To maintain close and beneficial cooperation with existing international and regional organizations with similar aims and purposes, and explore all avenues for even closer cooperation among themselves.


【Member Countries】


By 1999 the Association comprises 10 member countries, namely: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand as 5 original member countries. Brunei Darusalam joined ASEAN soon after it gained its independence in 1984. In 1995 Vietnam joined the Association and were followed by Myanmar and Laos in 1997. Cambodia became the 10th member of ASEAN in April 1999. The ASEAN region has a total area of 4.50 million square kilometers and total population of 530 million by 1998 statistics.


【The Organization Leaders】


The Chairmanship of ASEAN Standing Committee (ASC) is held by the Foreign Minister of the country hosting the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM) on the year, the office term period as one year. The Secretary-General of ASEAN (Ministerial Status) is appointed on merit and seniority with the recommendation by ASEAN member countries, the office term being two years. The current ASEAN Secretary-General is Mr. Seveniro, whose nationality is the Philippines.


【The ASEAN Secretariat】


The ASEAN Secretariat is seated in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, which is vested with communicating information, coordinating activities of the various ASEAN bodies, explaining directives issued by ASC, providing advice to ASC as well as handling routine business under the mandate of AMM and ASC.


【The Publications】


The ASEAN Secretariat is in charge of editing and publishing "The Report of the ASEAN Standing Committee" and "The ASEAN Bulletin", a special web site is also established on the Internet to provide information about ASEAN and its activities.


【The Organization Structure and Activities】


The structure consists of the ASEAN Summit, ASEAN Ministerial Meeting(AMM), Post-Ministerial Conference(PMC), ASEAN Standing Committee(ASC), ASEAN Economic Ministers(AEM) and other ASEAN Ministers meetings, ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN Select Committees as well as a number of official and unofficial bodies. Up to date ASEAN has held 6 summits and 4 informal summits.


The Sino-ASEAN Relationship


All the ASEAN member countries are China's friendly close neighbors. The recent years have witnessed the rapid development in the relationship of friendly cooperation between China and ASEAN, which has kept a good momentum. Since 1990s , the Sino-ASEAN relations have developed on a sound track with increasingly closer political ties.


On country to country level, the exchange of high-level contacts between China and ASEAN has been frequent. In 1994 President Jiang Zemin paid visits to Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore. After attending the APEC informal summit in 1996, President Jiang Zemin visited the Philippines, also in the same year Premier Li Peng and Qiao Shi, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China, visited Vietnam. In 1997, Premier Li Peng paid official trips to Malaysia and Singapore. Li Ruihuan, Chairman of the National Standing Committee of Chinese People's Political Consultation Conference visited Vietnam. In April and September 1999, Li Peng, Chairman of the National People's Congress and President Jiang Zemin visited Thailand respectively. And in November this year, Premier Zhu Rongji visited Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam. The leaders of ASEAN countries who visited China in 1999 include Laotian Prime Minister Sisavath, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Le Kha Phieu, General Secretary of Vietnamese Communist Party, Thai Prime Minister Chuan leekpai, Malay Prime Minister Mahatir, Sultan of Brunei Darusslam Hassanal Bolkiah and Indonesian President Wahid.


In the field of Sino-ASEAN relationship, Qian Qichen, Chinese Vice-Premier and Foreign Minister had been invited as a guest to attend the Post Ministerial Meeting(PMC) every year since 1991. He had exchanged views on a regular basis with his ASEAN counterparts on issues of mutual concern. The year 1995 saw the establishment of Senior Official Political Consultation mechanism, on which both China and ASEAN engage in talks regarding political and security issues every year, the venue of the meeting alternates between China and the ASEAN country-Coordinator. In July 1996, the status of China as a consultative dialogue partner of ASEAN was elevated to that of a full dialogue partner, the ASEAN Committee of Beijing(ACB) was established by the ASEAN Heads of Missions in Beijing , all this demonstrated the relationship between both sides had been developed to a new height.


In December 1997, President Jiang Zemin and ASEAN leaders held their first ever summit and issued a joint statement, in which they announced their decision to establish a 21st century-oriented partnership of good neighborliness and mutual trust between China and ASEAN. The joint statement charts the future course and sets a framework for the all-round and in-depth development of relations between the two sides. Vice President Hu Jingtao attended the 2nd informal summit-- ASEAN+China, Japan & Republic of Korea and ASEAN+China in 1998, Premier Zhu Rongji accepted the invitation and attended the 3rd informal summit-10+3 and 10+1 held in Manila in November 1999. Until 1999, China has already signed or issued action plans of the 21st century-oriented cooperation with Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam and hopes to further develop the future relationship of mutual benefit and cooperation with all the ASEAN member countries.


In February 1997, the ASEAN-China Joint Cooperation Committee (ACJCC) was formed and an all-round dialogue structure was agreed to be established , which consists of five parallel mechanisms as follows: ASEAN-China Senior Officials Political Consultations, China-ASEAN Joint Committee on Economic and Trade Cooperation, China-ASEAN Joint Committee on Science and Technology, China-ASEAN Joint Cooperation Committee and ASEAN Committee in Beijing(ACB).


By 1999 five rounds of China-ASEAN Senior Officials Political Consultations have been convened, in which both China and ASEAN briefed to each other the latest development on major issues such as political, diplomatic situation in their respective countries and relationship between big powers and strengthened their cooperation and coordination. As a result, China has enhanced mutual understanding and trust with ASEAN in the political and security fields.


By the end of 1999 the ASEAN-China Joint Cooperation Committee has met twice, which has facilitated communication between both sides and played the role of promotion and coordination at the working level in the cooperation relationship within the various China-ASEAN dialogue mechanisms. The projects initiated by ACJCC, such as the personnel exchange and the economic and trade seminar, have been successfully concluded so far. Both sides have agreed to further explore the possibility of cooperation initiatives and proposals. These include: The ASEAN side proposes to promote the technology transfer and business trade of herbal medicine, cooperate in mineral resources exploration and organize workshops on transgenic plants. The Chinese side also presented proposals on special topic studies on China-ASEAN cooperation, the skill training and an investigation on the resources and ecology environment in the Mekong River area by use of remote sensing and geo-scientific technology.


The economic and trade, science and technology cooperation plays an essential part in the China-ASEAN relationship. In 1994 the two China-ASEAN Joint Committees on economic and trade, science and technology were established, which started the bilateral relationship of mutual benefits and cooperation in these fields. The trade volume between China and ASEAN have been in constant increase. The total trade volume has been risen to 23.5 billion US$ from 13.0 billion US$ in 1994, in which China's export amounted to 10.92 billion US$ and import 12.56 billion US$. The amount of two-way investment has also been on the rise with the passing years. ASEAN has become an important market of China in the fields of labour cooperation and project contract.


ASEAN is an extremely active regional organization which has exerted unique influences in the affairs of this region. In recent years, China and ASEAN have supported each other and established good relationship in jointly defending the interests of developing countries at APEC, the informal summit (of East Asia), the ASEAN Regional Forum(ARF), the Asian-Europe Meeting (ASEM), the United Nations as well as other international and regional organizations and conferences, which has played an active role in promoting mutual understanding and trust, safeguarding regional peace and development among countries in this region.


The Sino-ASEAN relations of friendly cooperation proves that countries in the world, big or small, may vary from each other in historical background, social systems, level of development, cultural traditions and values, but as long as they observe the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, they will be able to co-exist in harmony and achieve common development.


Suggest to a friend
Print