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  • China–Asean Relations January 2020 to March 2020Chronology 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

6th Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith pays an official visit to China, and meets separately with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. Following talks in which China pledges support to strengthen cooperation with Laos, Thongloun and Li witness the signing of several bilateral cooperation documents in areas including finance, information and e-commerce. Both sides agree to facilitate direct exchange of the Lao kip (LAK) and the Chinese yuan. Central banks of both countries have agreed to advance settlements and payments for trade and investment between both sides.
13th The first COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) case diagnosed outside of China is reported in Thailand. The patient is a 61-year-old female tourist with a travel history to Wuhan, China—the epicentre of the virus outbreak. This marks the beginning of the spread of COVID-19 all over the world.
16th The 19th Meeting of ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Tourism Ministers convenes in Brunei. The ministers recognise that the APT region attracted 244.6 million international visitor arrivals in 2019, an increase by 5.8 per cent from the year before. The meeting has endorsed the APT Framework on Environment Management Standards and encouraged all member countries to implement more sustainable tourism using this guideline. The ministers also review other tourism-related work progress and outcomes in 2019.
Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong has a teleconversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping to exchange Spring Festival greetings and congratulations on the 70th anniversary of bilateral relations. Both leaders agree to create more opportunities for collaboration between the ruling parties of both countries. The Vietnamese side also hopes to work with the Chinese side in consolidating public support for bilateral cooperation, and enhancing communication and coordination on multilateral occasions.
17th–18th Chinese President Xi Jinping pays a state visit to Myanmar, which is also the first visit by a Chinese President in 19 years. The purpose of the visit is to celebrate the 70th anniversary of bilateral relations. The occasion witnesses the signing of 33 bilateral cooperation documents, 13 of which are related to infrastructure. The agreements demonstrate both countries' commitment to advance the development of the China–Myanmar Economic Corridor, most notably the Kyaukphyu Port and Special Economic Zone along the Bay of Bengal coast.
21st The first meeting of the China–Brunei Intergovernmental Joint Steering Committee, co-chaired by Foreign Ministers from both sides, convenes in Beijing. Both countries agree to strengthen cooperation in 10 areas including the economy, commerce, maritime cooperation and energy resources, and to establish a number of working groups. Both sides express willingness to commit to the development of the New Land–Sea Corridor and the Brunei–Guangxi Economic Corridor. They also exchange views on issues including China's cooperation with the East ASEAN Growth Area.
23rd Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi receives Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai in Beijing. Both sides reaffirm their confidence in controlling the situation and ensuring peace in the South China Sea. They also discuss the drought emergency in the Mekong River basin.

[End Page 205]


3rd The ASEAN Plus Three Senior Officials hold a video conference on Health Development on 2019-nCoV (novel coronavirus). The World Health Organisation is also involved and has provided an overview of the situation and recommendation of priority measures. The senior officials update each other on their country's response plans and challenges. In addition, they share experiences of national coordination and management, including the activation of multisectoral and whole-of-government committees, as well as public health emergency operations centres. They also discuss possible regional measures to ensure coordinated and sustained collective efforts.
5th Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen made a spontaneous visit to Beijing, China, to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. Hun Sen was previously...


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pp. 204-207
Launched on MUSE
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