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Assistant Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong Attends the China-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Senior Officials' Consultation

2020/07/01

On July 1, 2020, the 26th China-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Senior Officials' Consultation was held via videolink. The consultation was co-chaired by Assistant Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong and Assistant Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs Junever M. Mahilum-West of the Philippines and attended by senior officials for ASEAN affairs from other ASEAN members as well as ASEAN Deputy Secretary-General. Both sides spoke positively of the implementation of the outcomes of last year's China-ASEAN summit, and exchanged views on the outcomes of the summit this year and the priority work in the next stage.

Chen Xiaodong noted, since the onset of COVID-19 this year, China and ASEAN countries have upheld the concept of a community with a shared future, and worked closely to together combat the epidemic. It has demonstrated once again with concrete actions the strategic implications of China-ASEAN relations. The Chinese side is ready to join efforts with the ASEAN side to continue to strengthen cooperation against the virus, discuss the launch of a "fast track" network in East Asia to help countries in the region resume work and production, and seek stronger complementarity between the Belt and Road Initiative and ASEAN development plans to bring more benefits to the people of both sides. As next year marks the 30th anniversary of China-ASEAN dialogue relations, the Chinese side looks forward to working with the ASEAN side to make preparations for next year's China-ASEAN summit and major events so as to upgrade bilateral relations.

Chen Xiaodong gave a targeted briefing on the national security legislation for Hong Kong, stressing that the Chinese government has an unshakable resolve to firmly implement "one country, two systems", and firmly oppose interference in Hong Kong affairs by external forces. The national security legislation for Hong Kong embodies the inherent requirements of "one country, two systems" and the common aspiration of all Chinese people, including Hong Kong compatriots. Hong Kong and ASEAN countries are highly intertwined in their interests and are increasingly interdependent. Hong Kong's prosperity, stability and enduring peace and tranquility are in line with the long-term interests of ASEAN and the region as a whole. It is an opportunity for ASEAN, and is welcome news for the region and the world.

Highly applauding the great achievement China has made in fighting against COVID-19, the ASEAN side thanked the Chinese side's support and assistance for ASEAN countries' efforts in COVID-19 containment, and expressed its readiness to join hands with the Chinese side to coordinate anti-pandemic cooperation and economic and social development, propel ASEAN-China cooperation agenda in various fields, and actively advance the negotiations on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea, in a bid to take bilateral relations to new highs upon the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of ASEAN-China dialogue relations next year. The ASEAN side noted that Hong Kong affairs are China's internal affairs and believed that within the framework of "one country, two systems", Hong Kong will continue to enjoy peace, stability and prosperity.

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