China-ASEAN cooperation: 1991-2011

February 27, 2012   Xinhua Edited by He Shan

Chinese Foreign Ministry on Tuesday released a document on the cooperation between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Following is the full text:


Twenty years ago, then Chinese Foreign Minister Qian Qichen attended the 24th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at the invitation of the ASEAN side, which marked the beginning of China-ASEAN dialogue relations. Over the past 20 years, with the care of leaders of the two sides and the support of people from all walks of life, China and ASEAN have embarked on a path of cooperation based on good neighborliness, friendship and mutual benefit.

The two sides have strengthened political mutual trust and elevated the status of their relationship from dialogue partnership to strategic partnership. The two sides have conducted fruitful economic cooperation and trade, completed the building of free trade area and registered rapid growth in trade and mutual investment. The two sides have established a full range of dialogue and cooperation mechanisms, identified 11 priority areas for cooperation, carried out practical cooperation in some 20 fields, and scored remarkable achievements in their friendly exchanges and cooperation in various fields. The two sides have also further strengthened their friendship and cooperation in the course of combating the Asian and international financial crises, severe natural disasters, cross-border communicable diseases and other challenges.

The comprehensive cooperation between China and ASEAN has not only given a strong boost to their economic and social development and brought tangible benefits to their peoples, but also made important contribution to the peace, stability and prosperity of the region and the world at large.

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of China-ASEAN dialogue relations, we have published this brochure to review the history of our friendly exchanges, present the outcomes of our practical collaboration, and aspire for a brighter future of China-ASEAN strategic partnership.

I. Politics, Security and Regional Affairs

* Politics:

In July 1991, then Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qian Qichen attended the 24th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which marked the beginning of the dialogue process. In 1996, China became a full dialogue partner of ASEAN.

In 1997, the two sides worked together to counter the Asian financial crisis. China's commitment to keeping its currency (RMB) stable was widely appreciated by ASEAN countries. In December of the same year, the first informal China-ASEAN Summit was held in Malaysia, during which the two sides agreed to establish a good-neighborly partnership of mutual trust for the 21st century. Then, at the seventh China-ASEAN Summit in October 2003, the two sides decided to enter into a strategic partnership. In the same year, the Chinese government announced its accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia.

China attaches great importance to and stays committed to deepening good neighborliness, friendship and cooperation with ASEAN. China is the first ASEAN dialogue partner to join the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, the first to establish strategic partnership with ASEAN, the first to unequivocally support the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone, and the first to confirm to establish free trade area with ASEAN.

China and ASEAN have maintained frequent high-level contacts, and Chinese leaders have attended all the previous China-ASEAN Summits. In 2010, some 70 mutual visits by officials at or above deputy-prime-minister level were made between the two sides. These high-level interactions have strengthened the mutual trust between China and ASEAN and laid a solid political foundation for the development of bilateral relations.

China and ASEAN have established a full range of dialogue and cooperation mechanisms involving state leaders, ministers and senior officials from both sides. To date, the two sides have held 13 summit meetings and three special summit meetings, and established more than ten ministerial meeting mechanisms in the fields of foreign policy, economy, transportation, customs administrators, attorney generals, youth affairs, health, telecommunication, press, quality inspection and combating transnational crimes.

In 2010, following the successful implementation of the first Plan of Action to Implement the Joint Declaration on China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity (2005-2010), the two sides formulated the second Action Plan for the period 2011-2015.

* Security

In recent years, the two sides have made continued progress in defense exchanges and cooperation, and conducted a variety of exchange programs within the framework of China-ASEAN bilateral cooperation, ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus) and ASEAN Plus Three (10+3). China supported the security policy dialogue under the ARF, and hosted the workshop on disaster relief by armed forces, the non-traditional security forum and other events within the 10+3 framework. In 2011, China and ASEAN held the first defense ministers meeting.

The Chinese Academy of Military Sciences sponsored two "China-ASEAN Senior Defense Scholars' Dialogue" in 2008 and 2009 on the topics of "military modernization and regional mutual trust" and "security situation in East Asia and China-ASEAN defense cooperation." "China-ASEAN Defense and Security Dialogue," which was launched in 2010, provides an opportunity for in-depth discussions on regional defense and security issues between defense policy-makers and defense scholars from the two sides.

Since 1997, China and ASEAN have been holding biennial ministerial meetings on combating transnational crimes. The Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Non-traditional Security Areas was signed in 2004 and renewed in 2010. The two sides have also carried out close cooperation in combating drug trafficking, illegal immigration, piracy, terrorism, arms smuggling, money laundering, international economic and cyber crimes and other transnational crimes.

Since 2004, the Chinese Ministry of Public Security has staged over 60 training courses and workshops on anti-narcotics law enforcement, criminological technique, maritime law enforcement, criminal case studies, exit-and-entry administration, cyber crime investigation and other subjects, and invited over 1,500 law enforcement officers from ASEAN member countries to China. In particular, from 2006 to 2011, the Chinese Ministry of Public Security organized five training programs for ASEAN law enforcement liaison officers, during which 92 officers from ASEAN countries studied Chinese language and police knowledge in China. China and ASEAN have extended mutual support, and partnered with each other in confronting a series of severe natural disasters and epidemics such as Indian Ocean tsunami, Myanmar cyclone, Wenchuan earthquake, SARS and avian flu.

* Regional Affairs

China and ASEAN have worked closely with each other in advancing East Asia cooperation, and jointly shaped an open and inclusive approach to regional cooperation based on mutual benefit and consensus. The two sides have maintained good cooperation in ARF, 10+3, East Asia Summit (EAS) and other mechanisms, pushed for the publication of the two Joint Statement on East Asia Cooperation, facilitated the development of a regional foreign exchange reserve pool, and contributed to the building of free trade area in East Asia. China firmly supports ASEAN in playing a leading role in the East Asia cooperation process.

China has consistently supported and actively participated in ASEAN's community building and integration process. As one of the first countries to appoint an ambassador to ASEAN, China opened the ASEAN Affairs Office in Jakarta in 2011, and is making preparations for the establishment of a permanent mission to ASEAN.

In November 2002, China and ASEAN countries signed the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), which displayed the shared resolve of the two sides to strengthen China-ASEAN partnership of good-neighborliness and mutual trust and uphold peace and stability in the South China Sea. In July 2011, China and ASEAN countries agreed on the Guidelines for the implementation of the DOC.

II. Economy and Trade, CAFTA and CAEXPO

* Economy and Trade

China-ASEAN trade has maintained a rapid growth momentum. The volume of bilateral trade jumped from US$7.96 billion in 1991 to US$292.78 billion in 2010, representing a 37-fold increase and an average annual growth of more than 20 percent. In the first half of 2011, China-ASEAN trade totaled US$171.12 billion, up by 25 percent year-on-year. China is now already the largest trading partner of ASEAN, while ASEAN the third largest trading partner of China.

Two-way investment keeps expanding. As of June 2011, the accumulated amount of mutual investment reached almost US$80 billion. In recent years, China has stepped up its investment in ASEAN countries, and ASEAN is becoming an important destination for overseas investment of Chinese companies. The launch of China-ASEAN Investment Cooperation Fund and China-ASEAN Banking Consortium upon the Chinese proposal has provided an important platform for investment and financing cooperation between the two sides.

Economic cooperation and trade between China and ASEAN countries continue to deepen, expanding from trade in goods at the very beginning to trade in services and mutual investment, and to telecommunication, Mekong River development, transportation, energy, culture, tourism and other fields. ASEAN is now already China's fifth largest export market and source of import for trade in services.

* China-ASEAN Free Trade Area

China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (CAFTA) is the most important measure and achievement in China-ASEAN economic cooperation and trade. It is the first free trade area negotiated by China with foreign countries and the largest free trade area among developing countries. In November 2000, then Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji proposed the idea of CAFTA, which was positively responded by the leaders of the ASEAN countries. In November 2002, China and ASEAN signed the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation between China and ASEAN, in which they agreed to launch the building of CAFTA and complete the process by 2010.

On January 1, 2004, the initial benefit of CAFTA - "Early Harvest Plan" - was materialized as scheduled. In November 2004, the two sides signed the CAFTA Agreement on Trade in Goods and extended comprehensive tariff reduction to each other in July 2005. The two sides also signed the CAFTA Agreement on Trade in Services in January 2007 and the CAFTA Agreement on Investment in 2009.

In January 2010, CAFTA was established as scheduled, and zero tariff treatment was provided for more than 90 percent of the products exchanged between China and ASEAN. China's average tariff rate for ASEAN dropped from 9.8 percent to 0.1 percent, while the average tariff rate of the six old ASEAN member countries for China was slashed from 12.8 percent to 0.6 percent. The significant reduction in tariff has lent a strong impetus to the fast growth of bilateral trade.

* China-ASEAN Expo

In October 2003, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao proposed at the seventh China-ASEAN Summit to hold China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) every year from 2004 in Nanning, China. Premier Wen's proposal was very well received by the leaders of the participating countries. Co-sponsored by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, economic and trade authorities of the ten ASEAN countries and the ASEAN Secretariat, CAEXPO takes "facilitating CAFTA building, sharing cooperation and development opportunities" as its theme, and covers trade in goods, investment and trade in services.

To date, eight CAEXPO and concurrent China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit have been held, which were participated by 42 state leaders and more than 1,500 ministers from the two sides. Over the past seven years, 200 high-level meetings, forums and other relevant activities have been held under the CAEXPO framework, and attracted a total of 316,000 visitors. The total volume of transaction reached US$11.690 billion, and the total value of international and domestic cooperation projects signed during the CAEXPO reached US$49.172 billion and RMB475.902 billion respectively. CAEXPO has thus become an important platform for comprehensive economic and trade cooperation between China and ASEAN.

III. Science and Technology, Environmental Protection and Intellectual Property Rights

* Science and Technology

In 1994, China-ASEAN Joint Science and Technology Committee was established. The committee, which is represented by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology and the ASEAN Committee on Science and Technology, has held six meetings so far. Under the guidance of the joint committee, the two sides have conducted a number of cooperation programs in agriculture, biology, food, energy, traditional Chinese medicine, remote sensing, earthquake, marine science and other fields, including: international science and technology cooperation forum on new and renewable energy development and utilization (2009), training course on solar system technology and product application (2009), training course on hybrid rice technology (2009), international science and technology cooperation forum on solar energy development and utilization (2010), workshop on technology exchange, demonstration and dissemination for applying traditional Chinese medicine to diabetes prevention and treatment (2010), international science and technology cooperation forum on new agricultural varieties and plantation (2010).

Since 2005, exhibition of science and technology has been arranged on the sidelines of CAEXPO each year. Proceeding from the actual needs of ASEAN countries and building on China' s achievements in the R&D of agriculture-related high and new technologies, the exhibition has displayed close to 3,000 advanced applicable agricultural technologies, high and new technologies and products, and recorded more than RMB4 billion in total volume of technology trade.

In 2006, with the support of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, China-ASEAN Agriculture Cooperation Demonstration Zone was built in Guangxi Baise National Agricultural Science and Technology Park, which is now serving as an outpost in China-ASEAN cooperation on agricultural science and technology. Since 2006, Baise National Agricultural Science and Technology Park has been sponsoring ASEAN-oriented training courses on subtropical fruit trees, China-ASEAN forum on modern agricultural development and other science and technology exchange programs every year, and trained a group of agricultural technicians and administrators for ASEAN countries.

In 2008, the website on China-ASEAN science and technology cooperation and achievement commercialization was launched and put into operation. In response to the needs of Chinese and ASEAN subscribers, the website contains 14 special sections on ASEAN news, exhibition information and R&D outcomes, and 8 special databases on laws and regulations, enterprises and products, and ASEAN standards. Up to date, the website has collected and released more than 20,000 pieces of information and accepted 40,000 registered subscribers.

* Environmental Protection

Currently, the main China-ASEAN cooperation mechanisms for environmental protection include China-ASEAN Environment Cooperation, 10+3 Environment Ministers Meeting and East Asia Summit Environment Ministers Meeting.

At the 11th China-ASEAN Summit in 2007, environmental protection was listed as the 11th priority area for cooperation under the mechanism of China-ASEAN Summit. In 2009, the two sides jointly drafted the China-ASEAN Environmental Protection Cooperation Strategy (2009-2015). In May 2011, the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection formally launched the China-ASEAN Center of Environmental Protection Cooperation.

The two sides have conducted a series of exchange programs, including China-ASEAN Environment Policy Dialogue, China-ASEAN Workshop on Environment Management, China-ASEAN Workshop on Environmental Labeling and Cleaner Production, China-ASEAN Workshop on Environment Impact Evaluation and Strategic Environment Impact Evaluation, International Seminar on China-ASEAN Environmental Protection Cooperation Strategy, Workshop for Senior GMS Officials on Environment Management and Ecological Protection Administration, China-ASEAN Workshop on Green Industries Development and Cooperation, and China-ASEAN Seminar on Law Enforcement Competence.

*Intellectual Property Rights

China and ASEAN have conducted extensive and in-depth exchanges and cooperation in intellectual property rights. Since 2005, the Chinese State Intellectual Property Office has organized a number of China-ASEAN seminars on intellectual property rights. In 2009, the two sides signed the Memorandum of Understanding on China-ASEAN Cooperation in Intellectual Property Rights, which has greatly advanced China-ASEAN cooperation in intellectual property rights.

IV. Agriculture, Poverty Reduction and Alleviation


China and most of the countries in ASEAN have a vast rural population and rich agricultural resources, and agriculture occupies a primary position in their national economy. Therefore, to strengthen cooperation in agriculture is a common strategic decision for both sides. In 2002, China and ASEAN signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Agricultural Cooperation, which identified hybrid rice plantation, aquaculture, biotechnology, farm produce and machinery as the key areas for long-term cooperation between China and ASEAN in agricultural science and technology. In addition, China has also signed bilateral agricultural cooperation agreement or memorandum of understanding with most countries in ASEAN, improved the formulation of agricultural cooperation policies, and strengthened the exchanges of agricultural technologies.

China and ASEAN countries have carried out a series of human resources development and technological exchange programs in the field of agriculture. China has sponsored dozens of technology training courses and trained a group of agricultural scientists and technicians for ASEAN countries.

China and ASEAN have made continued progress in their cooperation on crop varieties and cultivation technologies. China has also stepped up cooperation with ASEAN countries in sanitary and phytosanitary measures, advantageous new varieties, new technology development, rural biogas development, professional training for rural project management and trade in agricultural products.

Agricultural technology demonstration zone is an important means for promoting agriculture-related economic cooperation and trade. With low price, high quality, easy accessibility and practical application, agricultural technologies and equipments made in China are immensely popular in ASEAN countries.

In recent years, China has proposed and implemented "China-ASEAN Plan on Improving Comprehensive Food Productivity" , "China-ASEAN Plan on Advancing Rural Development" and other programs to ensure comprehensive, sustained and in-depth agricultural cooperation between China and ASEAN.

* Poverty Reduction and Alleviation

From 2007 to 2010, through close cooperation with ASEAN countries and other related international organizations, the International Poverty Reduction Center in China sponsored four rounds of China-ASEAN forum on social development and poverty reduction.

Making use of multiple fund-raising channels, China has sponsored 12 training programs on poverty alleviation policies and practices for ASEAN, and trained more than 200 representatives from ASEAN and other Asian countries in total.

China has conducted mutual exchanges and visits with ASEAN government agencies, parliamentary delegations and other stakeholders, and sent delegates to the 10+3 Senior Officials Meeting on Rural Development and Poverty Reduction. These interactions have significantly expanded China' s contacts and dialogues with ASEAN countries in social development and poverty reduction, and laid a strong foundation for enhancing practical cooperation.

V. Transportation, Information and Communication Technology

* Transportation

(I) Highway Construction

The Kunming-Bangkok Highway, which starts from Kunming, China to Bangkok, Thailand via Laos and linked with the road network of Malaysia and Singapore, is the artery connecting China with Southeast Asia. The section in China was already upgraded to high-standard highways or expressways in 2009. The Laos section was completed in 2007, with the Chinese government, the Thai government and the Asian Development Bank each contributing US$30 million for this project. In 2009, the governments of China, Thailand and Laos signed the financing agreement for the cross-Mekong River bridge, which is expected to be completed in 2012 and put the Kunming-Bangkok Highway into full operation.

In 2008, the 196 km-long No.7 National Highway of Cambodia built with Chinese aid was completed. In 2009, the 5.4 km-long Suramadu Bridge in Indonesia, financed by preferential export buyer credits from China, was put into use.

(II) Railway Construction

China actively supports and facilitates the construction of Pan-Asia Railway. The construction plans for the three Chinese sections of the east, middle and west routes have been incorporated into China' s Medium- and Long-Term Railway Network Plan. For the east route, construction of the new Yuxi-Mengzi railway started in 2005 and is expected to finish in 2011. Construction of the Mengzi-Hekou line was launched in 2009 and is expected to be completed in 2013. For the middle line, the upgrading of Kunming-Yuxi line started in 2007 and is expected to finish in 2014. For the west line, the upgrading of Kunming-Guangtong line was launched in 2007 and is expected to be completed in 2013; the upgrading of Guangtong-Dali line will kick off in 2011; and the construction of Dali-Ruili line was launched in 2008.

While working to build the railway sections within its border, China is also actively supporting the construction of the international sections of the Pan-Asia Railway. Based on the need of ASEAN countries, China has provided assistance for railway building in ASEAN through various means. China has funded the feasibility studies on the missing link located in Cambodia in 2010, as well as the missing links of Vientiane-Mohan in Laos and Muse-Lashio in Myanmar in 2011.

(III) Civil Aviation

On October 19, 2010, China and ASEAN signed the China-ASEAN Agreement on Air Transport and its first protocol. Up to date, China has signed bilateral air transport agreements with all the ten ASEAN member countries. An airline network covering major cities of China and ASEAN countries is taking shape and playing an effective role in facilitating mutual visits, economic exchanges and trade between the two sides. As of 2010, there were ten Chinese airline companies operating direct flights to ASEAN countries, with 450 passenger flights and 13 cargo flights available per week. On the ASEAN side, 18 airline companies are now flying to China, providing 380 passenger flights and 19 cargo flights each week. The total number of flights operated by the two sides has reached 862 per week.

(IV) Ocean Shipping, Maritime Affairs and Port Cooperation

The two sides signed the China-ASEAN Agreement on Ocean Shipping in 2007 and established the annual consultation mechanism in 2008.

The two sides established the mechanism of ad hoc maritime consultation in 2005, which was elevated to the annual consultation mechanism with the signing of the China-ASEAN Memorandum of Understanding on Maritime Consultation Mechanism in 2010.

The two sides established the mechanism of senior officials meeting on port cooperation in 2008, and are now exploring the possibility of setting up a China-ASEAN port services network.

(V) Water Lane Improvement

From 2002 to 2003, China provided US$5 million to help dredge the Mekong River sections in Laos and Myanmar, which significantly improved the safety of river lanes and increased the loading capacity from 80% to 100%. As a result, the navigation period was extended from 6-7 months to 10-11 months.

* Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

China and ASEAN have established an effective ICT cooperation mechanism, and held six telecommunication ministers meetings from 2006 to 2011.

The two sides have signed the following important documents for cooperation: the China-ASEAN Memorandum of Understanding on ICT Cooperation, the Beijing Declaration on China-ASEAN ICT Cooperative Partnership for Common Development, and the Cooperation Framework of China-ASEAN Telecommunication Regulators Council on Network Security.

The China-ASEAN ICT Week, which was proposed by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at the eighth China-ASEAN Summit in 2004, provides an important platform for ICT cooperation between the two sides. Three ICT Week events have been held since 2005, including ministers forum, business forum, seminar on radio spectrum management, ICT exhibition and other concurrent activities. In addition, China has been invited by ASEAN to participate in the roundtable of ASEAN Telecommunication Regulators Council since 2006.

At the fifth China-ASEAN Summit in 2001, China proposed to provide training for 100 senior telecommunication officials from ASEAN. From 2002 to 2010, the two sides sponsored a total of 27 human resources programs and trained more than 500 ASEAN technicians and managers from various backgrounds through training courses, workshops and other forms.

VI. Development of the Great Mekong Subregion

*GMS Cooperation

China attaches great importance to and actively participates in the Great Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation Program (GMS), and the Chinese premier has attended all three GMS summits.

GMS cooperation in the areas with Chinese participation, including trade and investment, transportation, energy, telecommunication, environment, agriculture, tourism and human resources development, has made continued progress.

The GMS Economic Corridor Forum proposed by China held its first meeting in Kunming in 2008 and played a positive role in facilitating the expansion of corridor cooperation from transportation to trade and investment and promoting the development of economic corridor. China has also hosted the GMS Economic Corridor Week, the GMS Project Fair and other GMS-related activities.

Major progress has been made in improving the connectivity of transportation infrastructures. The Chinese section of the middle route of GMS North-South Economic Corridor (Kunming-Hanoi-Haiphong), which is 407 km in length, has been upgraded into an expressway standards. The Chinese section of the 380-km-long east route of the corridor (Kuming-Nanning-Hanoi), which is 179 km in length, has been upgraded according to expressway standards. China has also signed the GMS Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-border Transport of Goods and People and its 17 attachments and 3 protocols on cross-border movement of people, transit arrangement, vehicle standard, highway signs and signals, etc.

China has been actively involved in power grid interconnectivity and power trade with other GMS countries, and pushed for the formulation of the GMS master plan for electric power development. The first phase of the GMS Information Superhighway, which was initiated and partly built by China, was completed in March 2008.

Starting from 2005, China has launched a series of cooperation programs on the prevention and control of communicable diseases in Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, as well as the border areas in Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam, which mainly include the following: the pilot program on joint prevention and control of malaria in China-Myanmar border areas; the pilot programs on AIDS prevention and control in China-Myanmar, China-Laos, and China-Vietnam border areas and the program on the prevention and control of tuberculosis in China-Vietnam border areas.

Since 2008, China has hosted three high-level seminars on human resources and social security to exchange opinions with GMS countries on ways to improve social safety net, promote human resources development and boost employment in the course of economic restructuring. China has also set up women training centers in Laos and Thailand to teach practical technologies to local women.

* Environmental Protection of the Mekong River

In May 2010, the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection sponsored the workshop of GMS senior officials on environmental protection and ecological protection administration, which was participated by 21 senior environment officials from Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam. By offering a package of lectures and field trips, the workshop provided an opportunity for the participants to not only learn about China's policies and experience in managing environmental protection, but also share their own experience in environmental protection and ecological management.

* TV and Film about the Mekong River

In 2004, China Central Television (CCTV), with the support of the national TV stations of the other five GMS countries, i.e. Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, produced a joint documentary "Drinking Water from the Same River." As of April 2008, the documentary had been broadcasted by more than 30 TV stations in the six GMS countries in Chinese, English, Cambodian, Laos, Myanmar, Thai and Vietnamese languages.

VII. Culture, Education and Tourism

* Cultures

Over the past 20 years, China and ASEAN have conducted cultural exchanges and cooperation at various levels and through various channels, including ministerial meetings, forums, workshops, people-to-people exchanges, arts festivals and exhibitions. These interactions have markedly enhanced the mutual understanding, respect and appreciation of each other's culture.

In October 2003, the delegation of the Chinese Ministry of Culture attended the first 10+3 Culture Ministers Meeting and Senior Officials Meetings in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and exchanged preliminary thoughts with the ASEAN side on China-ASEAN cultural cooperation. In August 2005, the two sides signed the China-ASEAN Memorandum of Understanding on Cultural Cooperation, which was the first official document China signed with a regional organization on cultural exchanges and cooperation.

Since 2006, the two sides have successfully sponsored five "China-ASEAN Cultural Industry Forums". In 2011, in celebration of the 20th anniversary of dialogue relations, the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Chongqing Municipal People's Government co-sponsored the 12th Asian Arts Festival under the theme "ASEAN Culture Week" in Chongqing.

* Education

Since 2008, the two sides have sponsored "China-ASEAN Education Exchange Week" for four consecutive years. More than 1,600 participants from nearly 100 ASEAN universities, education authorities and embassies of ASEAN countries, UNESCO, the ASEAN Secretariat, the ASEAN University Network, the International University Sports Federation (FISU) and almost 100 Chinese universities attended the "Education Exchange Week" and concurrent events such as university presidents forum, education officials workshop and summer youth camp, and signed over 130 inter-collegial cooperation agreements.

In August 2010, the two sides co-sponsored the first "China-ASEAN Education Ministers Roundtable". The participants adopted the Guiyang Declaration of China-ASEAN Education Ministers Roundtable, and agreed to further innovate China-ASEAN cultural and people-to-people exchange mechanism, establish high-level consultation mechanism and faithfully implement the "Double 100,000 Plan" to bring the number of Chinese and ASEAN students in each other's universities to 100,000 respectively by 2020. China-ASEAN Education Ministers Roundtable is the highest-level international education conference hosted by China and ASEAN in recent years, and marked a new stage in China-ASEAN education cooperation.

In order to promote China-ASEAN education exchanges, China has significantly raised the quota of governmental scholarships for the ten ASEAN countries since 2005, and the number of scholarships has been growing by 50 percent every year since 2008. In 2010, China provided 3,337 scholarships to ASEAN countries, representing an increase of 329 percent over 2005. There are now 50,000 ASEAN students studying in China, and 70,000 Chinese students in ASEAN countries.

China attaches great importance to opening ASEAN language and ASEAN research courses in Chinese universities. There are dozens of universities in China that are now offering programs on the language of ASEAN countries, and the number of students learning ASEAN languages keeps growing. Several Chinese universities, including Peking University, Beijing Foreign Studies University, Guizhou University and Yunnan University, have set up research centers on ASEAN or ASEAN countries and strengthened academic exchanges with their ASEAN counterparts. China is now actively promoting Chinese language teaching in ASEAN countries. ASEAN countries have opened 28 Confucius Institutes and 14 Confucius Classrooms.

In 2008, China, for the first time, incorporated a one-year English-teaching Master's program, "MPA for Developing Countries," into its foreign human resources training plan. Organized by Peking University, Tsinghua University and East China Normal University, the MPA program aims to train high-level administration officials for developing countries. From 2008 to 2010, 17 senior officials from ASEAN countries were enrolled to the program.

Through such platforms as the training course for foreign assistance and the special program for Asia regional cooperation, Chinese universities have sponsored a series of short-term training courses and academic exchanges for ASEAN countries, including the Workshop on Modern Distant Education, the Seminar of Education Administration Officials, the 10+3 Seminar of Youth Sinologists, the Workshop of Senior Teachers on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in Asia, the China-ASEAN Environment Education Forum, the China-ASEAN Seminar of People-to-people, Cultural and Academic Exchanges, the China-ASEAN International Forum on Vocational and Technical Education and Training, and invited many ASEAN scholars to China. More than 1,000 ASEAN teachers and students visit China every year.

* Tourism

The launch of CAFTA has contributed to the rapid development of tourism industries in China and ASEAN. China and ASEAN countries are now each other's important source of tourists. Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia are among the top ten destinations for outbound travels by Chinese tourists. Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia have each occupied a position in the top 15 sources of inbound tourists for China for many years, and played an important role in meeting the goal of promoting friendship through tourism.

VIII. Health, Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine and Customs

* Health

The joint campaign against the SARS outbreak in 2003 marked the beginning of formal China-ASEAN cooperation in public health. With the establishment of health ministers meeting and senior officials meeting mechanisms, China-ASEAN cooperation has been very productive in this field.

The first China-ASEAN Health Ministers Meeting was held in June 2006 in Yangon, Myanmar, which set out the rule for the meeting to be held every two years, following a lead-up senior officials meeting. Both China and ASEAN countries have designated a national contact person for health cooperation. Three China-ASEAN health ministers meetings have been held so far.

- Prevention and Control of Epidemics

In October 2006, the training course of China-ASEAN AIDS Laboratory Network was held in Beijing, which was participated by 20 AIDS Laboratory Network technicians from ASEAN. In November 2006, the China-ASEAN Seminar on AIDS Prevention and Control with Traditional Medicine was held in Beijing.

In 2007, the Chinese Ministry of Health sponsored the China-ASEAN Seminar on the Prevention and Control Progress of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Beijing. Two training programs on the laboratory technologies for diagnosing pathogenic avian influenza were held in Beijing from October to November 2007, which were participated by 18 technicians from nine ASEAN countries in this sector.

In June 2008, the 10+3 epidemic information notification website was officially launched, which enabled China and ASEAN countries to share information on emerging communicable diseases and better control epidemics in their respective countries.

In May 2009, the special 10+3 Health Ministers Meeting in response to H1N1 influenza A was held in Bangkok, Thailand. China pledged at the meeting to teach ASEAN countries laboratory detection technologies for H1N1 influenza A virus, and provide diagnosis reference agents for scientific research to the ASEAN countries.

- Cooperation in Traditional Medicine

In October 2008, the China-ASEAN Seminar on Traditional Medicine Standardization was held in Beijing. In August 2010, the China-ASEAN Seminar on Traditional Chinese Medicine and Traditional Medicine Development was held in Beijing. In 2011, China sponsored a tour to promote traditional Chinese medicine in ASEAN.

- Cooperation in Stomatology

In November 2008, the China-ASEAN Stomatology Exchange Forum was held in Nanning, China, which provided a platform for stomatology education, academic exchanges, professional training and other relevant cooperation initiatives.

* Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine

In October 2007, China and ASEAN held the first China-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine under the theme "strengthening safety management of food import and export, protecting consumer interests," which marked the official launch of consultation mechanism for China-ASEAN quality inspection ministers. The meeting issued a joint statement on closer food safety cooperation.

Pursuant to the China-ASEAN Memorandum of Understanding on Strengthening Sanitary and Phytosanitary Cooperation (SPS-MOU), the second China-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine was held in Cambodia under the theme "strengthening SPS cooperation, preventing cross-border transmission of harmful alien pests."

In 2009, the two sides signed the intergovernmental Memorandum of Understanding on Strengthening Cooperation in Standards, Technical Regulations and Conformity (TBT-MOU). The third China-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine was held in October 2011 under the theme "product quality and safety."

While conducting quality inspection cooperation with its ASEAN counterparts, the Chinese General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine also provided trainings for quality inspection professionals from ASEAN countries. The completed programs include the following: China-ASEAN Seminar of Import and Export Inspection and Quarantine Officials, China-ASEAN Workshop of SPS Cooperation Coordinators, China-ASEAN Workshop on the Prevention of Cross-border Avian Influenza Transmission, etc.

* Customs

China-ASEAN customs cooperation was launched in 2003. The two sides have established a regular consultation mechanism at the ministerial level and a consultation mechanism of customs coordination committees at the expert level. As of 2011, nine sessions of China-ASEAN Customs Directors Consultation have been held.

As of January 2006, customs expert committees from China and ASEAN had held six rounds of consultations, and proposed nine priority areas for customs cooperation. In 2007, the ASEAN Expert Committee was renamed to ASEAN Customs Affairs Coordination Committee. In December of the same year, the customs coordination committees of the two sides met for the first time, and as of 2011, six rounds of consultations have been held.

China Customs have sponsored six seminars with different themes for the customs authorities of ASEAN member countries for the past six years and attracted nearly 200 customs officials from the ASEAN side.

China Customs plans to sponsor six training courses on "speeding up the reform and modernization of the customs of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar" (two courses each year) from 2011 to 2013 to help the customs authorities of these four countries accelerate reform and modernization.

IX. Journalism and People-to-people Ties

* Journalism

The China-ASEAN Information Ministers Meeting is an important channel for bilateral cooperation in journalism. The first session, which was convened in Jakarta, Indonesia in May 2007, marked the inception of the mechanism for China-ASEAN journalism cooperation. In September 2010, the second China-ASEAN Information Ministers Meeting was held in Beijing, and the China-ASEAN Memorandum of Understanding on Journalism Cooperation was signed at the meeting. From 2002 to 2010, the People's Daily of China hosted four high-level workshops on China-ASEAN media cooperation.

In January 2007, to mark the 15th anniversary of China-ASEAN dialogue relations, China and the ASEAN Secretariat jointly edited and published the Collection of China-ASEAN Folk Stories with the support of China-ASEAN Cooperation Fund.

* Radio and TV

China and ASEAN have conducted fruitful exchanges and cooperation in radio, film and TV. In particular, since the establishment of China-ASEAN strategic partnership for peace and prosperity in 2003, bilateral cooperation in radio, film and TV has become more diversified and multi-faceted, and played an important role in deepening mutual understanding, consolidating traditional friendship and promoting regional peace and prosperity.

In recent years, the Chinese State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) has sponsored a series of ASEAN-focused forums and seminars: China-ASEAN Radio and TV Summit Forum in August 2008 adopted the Beijing Declaration and mapped out plans for future cooperation in this sector; China-ASEAN TV Exchange Forum and program showing in October 2009 played a positive role in promoting bilateral exchanges and co-production of TV programs.

The two sides have conducted a variety of program exchanges and joint interviews. The FM programs of China Radio International (CRI) have landed in Laos, Cambodia and Indonesia. The international channel (CCTV4) and English channel (CCTV9) of CCTV are also accessible in the ten ASEAN countries via antenna, satellite or cable signals. Channel NewsAsia of Singapore and Celestial Movies of Malaysia have landed in certain parts of China. The Asia Today program of CCTV4 has signed information exchange agreements with Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, Singapore, Laos respectively, and served as a gateway for China to share its information with ASEAN countries.

From April to June 2007, a Chinese media group organized by CRI conducted a joint news reporting program, "China-ASEAN Journey of Cooperation" , in ASEAN countries. They traveled more than 20,000 km in a period of over 50 days, and their program was very well received by the audience. There is a growing number of film production units from ASEAN countries that are coming to China for shooting documentaries, films and special programs. According to incomplete statistics, the China Association for Radio, Film and Television Exchange alone has received 15 film production units from ASEAN countries since 2006.

In recent years, SARFT has sponsored three training programs for ASEAN technicians and journalists, and trained 251 radio and TV broadcasting technicians, reporters and editors from ASEAN countries. In addition to training programs, China has also taken an active part in the technological upgrading of the national radio and TV broadcasting systems in ASEAN countries.

China' s radio, film and TV products have established a visible presence in Southeast Asian countries. According to incomplete statistics, the export of TV programs to the ten ASEAN countries now accounts for one half of China' s total export in terms of running hours. In China' s import of foreign TV dramas, the works of ASEAN countries account for one third of the total. ASEAN countries have already become an important import and export market for China' s trade in film and TV services.

* Youth Exchanges

China-ASEAN Youth Ministers Meeting, which has been running for three sessions, is an important mechanism for youth exchanges between the two sides. China has sponsored five sessions of China-ASEAN Youth Camp, five sessions of China-ASEAN Young Entrepreneurs Forum and other youth exchange programs. Since 2002, China has organized four training courses for young ASEAN government officials, and trained 175 youth officials for the ten ASEAN countries. The All-China Youth Federation and the Thai Ministry of Social Development and Human Security have been partnering with each other in hosting the Lancang-Mekong River Youth Friendly Exchange Program every year.

Starting from 2005, the Chinese Ministry of Education has been sponsoring China-ASEAN student summer (winter) camps, Chinese Bridge language competitions and other youth exchange programs on an annual basis to encourage the universities in China' s border provinces to conduct youth exchanges with ASEAN. Now, nearly 1,000 youngsters from ASEAN countries visit China each year.

Since 2000, China has been partnering with Vietnam to co-sponsor the "Friendly Meeting of Chinese and Vietnamese Youths" each year. China also maintains frequent bilateral youth exchanges with the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar.

* Women

Between 2008 and 2009, the All-China Women' s Federation (ACWF) trained over 40 senior women officials from Laos and Myanmar through the China-ASEAN Women Training Center in the Guangxi Women' s Federation. In addition, ACWF has opened women training centers in Laos and Thailand to teach practical skills to local women.

* China-ASEAN Association

Since its establishment in 2004, China-ASEAN Association has made vigorous efforts to promote people-to-people exchanges between China and ASEAN countries. It is the host of the annual Conference on China-ASEAN People-to-People Friendship Organizations held in China and ASEAN countries, and initiated the "China-ASEAN Journey of Friendship" campaign in 2006.

China-ASEAN Association sponsored the "Friendship Bringing-Light Tour" program in 2008, in which a team of eye specialists from Tongren Hospital of China went to ASEAN countries to perform free eyesight recovery surgeries for local cataract patients. In 2009, China-ASEAN Association and the Vietnamese Federation of Friendship Organizations co-sponsored the "2009 Grand Gala of Residents Living in China-Vietnam Border Areas" in Fangchenggang, China and Mong Cai, Vietnam.

X Outlook

With the present in-depth development of the economic globalization and regional integration, the future and destiny of China and ASEAN countries are closely relevant more than ever. Strengthening bilateral good-neighborly friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation serves the common interests of both sides, meets the demands of the era for peace, development and cooperation, and is the common strategic choice of the both sides.

No matter how the international situation changes, China will unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development, unswervingly pursue the foreign policy of "building friendship and partnership with neighboring countries", and be ASEAN's good neighbor, good friend and good partner for ever. China will firmly support ASEAN's less developed countries in accelerating the realization of their development goals, firmly support ASEAN's community building, and firmly support ASEAN's leading role in East Asian cooperation.

China is willing to continue to maintain close high-level exchanges to enhance all-round cooperation with ASEAN. China is ready to make joint efforts with ASEAN to implement all the relevant agreements of Free Trade Area and continuously enhance the establishment of the FTA, promote the SMEs' understanding and use of FTA, strive to achieve the goal of 500 billion U.S. dollars in bilateral trade volume in 2015, and build the FTA into a model among developing countries.

China will work with ASEAN to fully implement the second five-year Plan of Action, to expand cooperation in various fields such as connectivity, agriculture, science and technology, public health, environmental protection, energy, and finance. China will continue to support the implementation of the "ASEAN Master Plan on Connectivity", "China - ASEAN Strategic Plan on Transportation Cooperation" and other important documents. On the basis of land and air connectivity, China will actively explore maritime connectivity with ASEAN, with a view making it a new bright spot in China-ASEAN cooperation.

China is willing to further strengthen social and cultural exchanges with ASEAN, jointly promote tourism, education, culture, media, youth exchanges, make use of the platforms such as China-ASEAN Center, Education Exchange Week, and Youth Camps to enhance people-to-people understanding and friendship, and achieve the goal of 150 million people from each other in 2015, so that people of China and ASEAN will be firm supporters, active builders and real beneficiaries of China-ASEAN relations.

China and ASEAN have broad common interests. With the joint efforts of both sides, the bilateral political relations will be more solid, economic and trade ties will be closer, areas of cooperation will be more diversified, and good-neighborly friendship will be more popular. The future of China - ASEAN relationship will be brighter.