China also reaffirmed its support for ASEAN Community building and for ASEAN Centrality in regional ASEAN-led mechanisms.
The meeting exchanged views on developments in ASEAN and China and discussed the continued progress of cooperation over the past year. Notable progress has been made in various areas of the ASEAN-China Plan of Action 2021-2025 and its annex to advance the ASEAN-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) particularly in political dialogue and cooperation, non-traditional security, trade and investment, food and agriculture, ICT, cyber security, digital economy, tourism, education, public health, culture and information, media, environment, and sustainable development.
The meeting also discussed this year’s cooperation theme, ASEAN-China Year of Agricultural Development and Food Security, noting China’s proposal for projects and activities to be conducted throughout the year. Both sides looked forward to robust cooperation in agriculture and food security to contribute to building a more sustainable and resilient region.
The meeting discussed ways to promote cooperation under the CSP. Several areas were highlighted as priority to make the partnership more substantive, meaningful, and mutually beneficial, such as further enhancing the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area, effective implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, connectivity, digital economy, e-commerce, sustainable development, and environment protection.
With the easing of pandemic-related policies and measures in ASEAN Member States and China, both sides agreed to restore and increase two-way tourist arrivals, as well as youth and student exchanges. ASEAN and China are preparing for the signing of a technical cooperation agreement to strengthen collaboration in this area in support of ASEAN Community building.