Both sides agreed that economic-trade-investment link will continue to be the foundation for bilateral ties, and pledged to effectively implement the 2016-2020 Action Plan and soon finalize procedures to upgrade the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area towards elevating two-way trade to US$1 trillion and the total investment to US$50 billion by 2020.
China was committed to supporting ASEAN’s central role and help the grouping carry out the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and goals on narrowing development gap, building infrastructure, strengthening connectivity and regional integration, especially via effectively utilizing joint funds between ASEAN and China and funding from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
Concerning the ASEAN-China strategic partnership, they underlined the need to enhance regional connectivity, including defining common priorities in China’s Belt and Road initiative and the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity. Accordingly, ASEAN asked China to continue providing support for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), infrastructure building and sustainable development in the region.
Regarding the East Sea issue, participants acknowledged the outcomes of the ASEAN-China SOM on DOC on May 18, including a consensus on submitting the draft framework of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) to the ASEAN-China Ministerial Meeting in August for consideration and approval.
They affirmed that it is an initial step forward for the next negotiations on the legally-binding COC for the sake of peace and stability in the region.
Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung, head of the Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) ASEAN Vietnam, highlighted the East Asia’s development prospect in regional and inter-regional connectivity and the role of ASEAN-China partnership in building the ASEAN Community.
Vietnam will work with other countries to increase the effectiveness of regional cooperation mechanisms and frameworks as well as the ASEAN 3 (China, the Republic of Korea and Japan) mechanism, Dung said.
On regional and global issues, the Deputy FM emphasized Vietnam’s principles and stance on the East Sea, the Korean Peninsula, and non-traditional security issues such as terrorism and trans-national and cyber crimes.