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  • China–Asean Relations October 2019 To December 2019:Chronology of Events
  • Chen Juan (bio)

As a research institute based in Singapore, the EAI monitors developments in relations and interactions between China and the individual countries of Southeast Asia as well as the ASEAN grouping as a whole. This material is presented in the form of (i) a chronology of events and (ii) important documents.

—the Editors


14th     China and ASEAN universities ally to deepen ASEAN–China medical and health care cooperation at the founding of the China–ASEAN University Consortium on Medicine and Health held in Beijing. The consortium, led by the Peking University Health Science Center is joined by 42 universities and medical schools in China and ASEAN countries. Its aim is to promote regional and global medical education and public health through in-depth exchanges and collaboration.

15th     The 18th ASEAN–China Senior Officials' Meeting on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) convenes at Dalat, Vietnam. The meeting discusses the second reading of the Code of Conduct text, reviews and confirms new maritime cooperation projects, and updates the DOC implementation plan for 2016–2021. There are concerns regarding incidents that had taken place in Vietnam's claimed exclusive economic zone.

From October 13 to 14, all parties also held the 30th Joint Working Group on the DOC.

Standing Committee member of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Politburo and Vice Premier of the State Council Han Zheng and Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee [End Page 213] Keat jointly announce that the Protocol to Upgrade the China–Singapore Free Trade Agreement will come into effect on 16 October 2019. The protocol covers cooperation in six sectors contained in the original agreement, namely rules of origin, customs procedures and trade facilitation, trade remedies, service trade, investment, and economic cooperation, and adds three new sectors, namely e-commerce, competition policies and environment. Both sides agree that the adjustment of the rules of origin will be implemented on 1 January 2020. According to the Chinese side, the most significant changes made are related to investment, whereby both sides have agreed to apply "national treatment" and the "most-favoured-nation treatment" status to each other's investors.

16th     The 19th Meeting of the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry convenes in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam. The meeting notes the progress and the significant number of activities conducted in the following areas under the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Strategy 2016–2025: food security; sustainable forest management; climate change mitigation and adaptation; animal and plant health and disease control; enhancement of capacity-building and human resource development; strengthening of information system and knowledge networking and exchange; enhancement of productivity, quality and marketability of agricultural products; and research and development. The APT ministers also commend the progress in the implementation of the APT Emergency Rice Reserve Agreement and the APT Food Security Information System.

18th     The ASEAN–China Cooperation Fund (ACCF) Management Team is launched at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia. ASEAN Secretary General Dato Lim Jock Hoi expresses his appreciation for China's contribution of US$11.3 million to the ACCF in 2019. The fund supports many cooperation projects including the Young Leaders' Scholarship Programme, which sponsors 23 scholars from ASEAN for their graduate studies in Chinese universities. As of September 2019, there have been 131 projects under the ACCF with an accumulated value of over US$26 million since the ACCF's establishment in 1997.

18th–20th     The 2019 China–ASEAN Expo Tourism Exhibition, which aims to expand tourism cooperation and enhance service quality, kicks off in Guilin, Guangxi. The exhibition, which attracts the participation of 57 countries and regions, including ASEAN countries, features six themes, namely the Belt and Road, inbound tourism, outbound tourism, tourist consumption, tourist commodities, and Guangxi's tourist image. [End Page 214]

20th     Singapore Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen and Chinese State Councillor and Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe sign the Enhanced Agreement on Defence Exchanges and Security Cooperation in Beijing. The enhanced agreement, besides formalising ongoing defence cooperation between the two countries and providing a...


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