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CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT OF THE 17th ASEAN-CHINA SUMMIT

2014/12/01

13 November 2014

Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar

1. The 17th ASEAN-China Summit chaired by President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, H.E. U Thein Sein, was held in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, on 13 November 2014. The Summit was attended by all Heads of State/Government of the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and H.E. Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China.

2. We acknowledged that China is one of ASEAN’s most active Dialogue Partners contributing to the development and promotion of peace, stability and prosperity in the region. In this context, the ASEAN Leaders appreciated China’s support for ASEAN Centrality in the evolving regional architecture, including through ASEAN-led processes, such as the ASEAN Plus Three (APT), the East Asia Summit (EAS), the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in the ASEAN Community building process.

3. The ASEAN Leaders also welcomed China's support for the implementation of the Roadmap for an ASEAN Community (2009-2015) and the Bali Declaration on ASEAN Community in a Global Community of Nations (Bali Concord III).With ASEAN striving towards the ASEAN Community, we welcomed China's support for the ASEAN Community Post-2015 Vision.

4. ASEAN Leaders noted with appreciation China’s initiative to build up ASEAN-China Community of Common Destiny and to work together towards building the Maritime Silk Road of the 21st century. We reaffirmed our strong commitment to further strengthen the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership particularly in the eleven priority areas, namely agriculture, information and communication technology, human resource development, investment, Mekong Basin Development, transportation, energy, culture, tourism, public health and environment. In this regard, we welcomed the progress made in the implementation of the Plan of Action (2011-2015) to implement the Joint Declaration on the ASEAN–China Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity and looked forward to the successful conclusion of its Two-Year Implementation Programme (2013-2014).

5. We noted with satisfaction the substantive work undertaken by China’s Mission to ASEAN in Jakarta and the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN (CPR), as well as the ASEAN Secretariat, to further strengthen the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership.

6. We welcomed China’s proposals and initiatives under the 2+7 Cooperation Framework for ASEAN-China relations, and looked forward to working closely with China to implement it. In this regard, we recalled the successful outcomes of the ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, on 9 August, the 20th ASEAN-China Senior Officials’ Consultations (ACSOC) in Pattaya City, Thailand, from 21 to 22 April 2014, and the Special ASEAN-China Senior Officials Meeting in Guilin, China, from 14 to 15 September, where ASEAN and China agreed to deepen existing cooperation and to further explore areas of cooperation under the proposed 2+7 Cooperation Framework.

7. We were committed to promoting strategic relations and maintaining high-level exchanges and close contacts, and continuing to deepen mutual trust and confidence in the political sphere. In this connection, we looked forward to further explore China’s proposal for a Treaty on Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation.

8. We agreed to designate the Year 2015 as the “ASEAN-China Year of Maritime Cooperation”. We welcomed China’s comprehensive plan for utilizing the ASEAN-China Maritime Cooperation Fund to provide financial support for ASEAN-China cooperation in the areas of maritime connectivity, marine science and technology as well as maritime scientific research, search and rescue, disaster management, and navigation safety. We noted with satisfaction the commitment to fully operationalise the ASEAN-China Cooperation Fund.

9. We reaffirmed the importance of maintaining peace, stability and maritime security in the region. We further stressed the importance of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), the Joint Statement of the 15th ASEAN-China Summit on the 10th Anniversary of the DOC in 2012 and the adoption of the Guidelines for the Implementation of the DOC in 2011. In this regard, we reaffirmed our commitment to continue to fully and effectively implement the DOC, to build trust and confidence in order to enhance maritime security, and encourage sovereign states directly concerned to resolve their disputes by peaceful means through friendly consultations and negotiations, in accordance with the universally recognised principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), without resorting to the threat or use of force, while exercising self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability.

10. We reaffirmed our commitment to the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in its entirety as well as to work towards the early conclusion of a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) based on consensus. We supported the implementation of early harvest measures, including the adoption of the first list of commonalities on COC consultation, the establishment of a hotline platform among search and rescue agencies, a hotline among foreign ministries on maritime emergencies, and a table-top exercise on search and rescue to promote and enhance trust and confidence in the region.

11. We welcomed the Four-Point Principled Agreement reached by China and Japan recently. In this connection, we fully understand China’s view that the correct attitude towards history is significant for the improvement of relations among the relevant countries and maintaining the peace and stability in this region. We welcomed the measures to be taken on handling the territorial dispute and called upon the relevant countries to resolve the dispute by peaceful means through consultations and negotiations.

12. We welcomed the positive outcomes from the 8th ASEAN-China SOM on DOC and the 12th Joint Working Group (JWG) on the Implementation of the DOC in Bangkok, Thailand, from 26 to 29 October 2014. We will continue to maintain the momentum of regular official consultations and work towards the early conclusion of the COC.

13. We welcomed the positive outcomes of the 8th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) held in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, on 20 May 2014. We noted with appreciation the establishment of Direct Communications Link (DCL) in the ADMM process to promote quick-response cooperation in emergency situations. We were also pleased with the successful holding of the 4th ASEAN-China Defence Ministers’ Informal Meeting at the sideline of ADMM.

14. We noted that since 2009, China has remained ASEAN’s largest trading partner. And, since 2011, ASEAN has remained China’s third largest trading partner. We also noted that, based on ASEAN statistics, the two-way trade volume reached USD 350.5 billion in 2013, accounting for 14% of ASEAN’s total trade and representing an increase of 9.7% year on year. We underscored the value of regional economic integration and noted the encouraging process toward further trade liberalization, including the upgrading of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA). In this regard, we anticipated achieving the two-way trade goal of USD 500 billion by 2015 and USD 1 trillion by 2020, as well as achieving two-way investment of USD150 billion by 2020. We further welcomed the progress of negotiations for the ASEAN-Hong Kong FTA, and looked forward to its early conclusion.

15. We noted the progress of negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) which would build upon the ASEAN Plus One Free Trade Agreements, including the ACFTA. Recognising ASEAN Centrality in the emerging regional economic architecture, the RCEP will further contribute to economic integration, equitable economic development, and strengthening economic cooperation among participating countries. In this regard, we agreed to actively accelerate negotiations for the RCEP for greater economic integration in East Asia.

16. We welcomed the 11th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) held in Nanning, China, from 16 to 19 September 2014 under the theme “Building the Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century”. We commended the success of the CAEXPO to boost the trade and investment relationship between ASEAN and China.

17. We congratulated China for its successful Chairmanship of APEC in 2014 and believed that the synergies between ASEAN and APEC would be further strengthened. We underlined the importance of the continuation of the connectivity, infrastructure development and investment agenda in APEC. In this regard, we expressed our support for the APEC Blueprint on Connectivity, which takes into consideration the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC).

18. We appreciated China’s continued support for the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC). We were pleased with the signing of the MOU between ASEAN and China on the establishment of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as founding members, and agreed to work closely towards the operationalisation of the AIIB. We expected the AIIB to provide financial support to regional infrastructure projects, with an emphasis on supporting the implementation of the MPAC.

19. We expressed our support for closer sub-regional cooperation among the countries of the Mekong region and China. In particular, we welcomed Thailand’s initiative on sustainable development of the Lancang-Mekong Sub-region, which would contribute to narrowing the development gap in ASEAN. We also welcomed the countries of the Mekong region and China to explore possibilities for setting up relevant dialogue and cooperation mechanisms.

20. We welcomed the work of the ASEAN-China Centre in Beijing to facilitate trade, investment, tourism, and cultural exchanges between ASEAN and China. We noted the work of the Joint Council of the ASEAN-China Centre in ensuring the effective operation of the Centre to promote economic and cultural cooperation.

21. We welcomed the year 2014 as the ASEAN –China Cultural Exchange Year. We commended the successful opening ceremony of the ASEAN-China Cultural Exchange Year held in Beijing, China, in April 2014 and looked forward to the closing ceremony in Myanmar in December this year. We noted the great progress that ASEAN and China have achieved in tourism, with China becoming the second largest source of tourists for ASEAN countries. In 2012, ASEAN received almost 8.76 million tourists from China and China received nearly 5.99 million tourists from ASEAN. In this regard, we looked forward to China’s initiative to host an ASEAN-China Tourism Forum and the ongoing efforts to increase further two-way tourism between ASEAN and China.

22. We welcomed the positive outcomes from the 5th ASEAN-China Health Ministers’ Meeting held in Hanoi, Vietnam, on 19 September 2014. We looked forward to further strengthening joint collaboration in health development as agreed in the ASEAN-China MOU on Health Cooperation.

23. We welcomed the notable progress achieved in implementing the ASEAN-China Science and Technology Partnership Programme (STEP) including building ASEAN-China joint laboratories, ASEAN-China Remote Sensing Satellite Data Sharing and Service Platform, ASEAN-China Technology Transfer Center, and Talented Young Scientists Visiting China have yielded concrete progress. We looked forward to the early signing of the MOU on ASEAN-China Cooperation in Science and Technology.

24. We welcomed the 1st Country Coordinator’s Meeting of the Network of ASEAN-China Think-Tanks (NACT CCM) which was held in Beijing, China, on 3 July 2014, and looked forward to increased academic exchanges between ASEAN and China.

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