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  • Resources for China–ASEAN Relations
  • 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

China–Asean Relations April 2020 to June 2020: Chronology of Events

APRIL 2020

1st The first Singapore–China Joint Meeting on COVID-19—co-chaired by the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Permanent Secretary Chee Wee Kiong and Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui—is held virtually and attended by officials from foreign affairs, education, trade and industry, customs and immigration, transport, health and manpower. Both sides exchange views on the control and treatment measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus, and agree to explore joint research and development of medicines and vaccines. Both countries also recognise the significance of resuming production and trade flows, and note the importance of ensuring positive progress in their three government-to-government initiatives as well as other priority cooperation projects.
2nd Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indonesian President Joko Widodo speak on the telephone. The latter thanks China for providing supplies and assistance to help Indonesia mitigate the COVID-19 breakout, and applauds Xi's leadership in the response to the pandemic. Xi notes that both countries should jointly encourage the Group of 20 (G20) and the international community to play their roles in crisis response and global economic governance.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc makes a telephone call to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to keep each other up to date on the COVID-19 pandemic. Li conveys his hope to Nguyen that the safety of Chinese citizens in Vietnam will be protected, and their essential needs provided for. Nguyen expresses readiness to work with China in tapping on each other's anti-pandemic experience and resume exchanges and cooperation by phases.
Vietnam lodged an official protest against China, whose coastguard vessel collided with a Vietnamese fishing boat near the Paracel Islands in the disputed South China Sea, causing the fishing boat to sink as Vietnam claimed. This is a second incident in less than a year. The Philippines backs Vietnam's move to file a protest. China reports that the Vietnamese boat illegally entered Chinese waters and conducted "dangerous actions" before the collision took place. All eight fishermen were picked up by the Chinese vessel alive and transferred to two other Vietnamese boats nearby.
3rd Chinese President Xi Jinping and Lao President Bounnhang Vorachit converse on the telephone. Xi is keen to maintain the momentum of high-level exchanges with Laos, and even intensify the experience-sharing on party and state governance. Bounnhang expresses gratitude towards China for its timely despatch of experts and supplies to Laos, and hopes to strengthen political trust with China.
7th Health ministers from ASEAN Plus Three member states hold a Special Video Conference on Enhancing Cooperation on their COVID-19 Response. The ministers promise to improve open and timely sharing of information and data on COVID-19 through existing ASEAN Health Sector Cooperation mechanisms. They have agreed to provide assistance to national health systems that are critically affected, helping them in the transition. They have also noted the importance of ensuring the adequate supply of essential medicines, vaccines and medical devices in the region.
13th Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indonesian President Joko Widodo exchange congratulatory messages on the 70th anniversary of the establishment of China–Indonesia bilateral diplomatic relations. Jokowi is confident that by upholding the spirit of cooperation, both countries will continue to prosper, and contribute to regional and global stability. Xi highlights the progress of bilateral relations in recent years through the expansion in areas of cooperation as well as outcomes from collaborations under the Belt and Road Initiative.
14th At the Special ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Summit on COVID-19 held via video conference, heads of state/government of the member countries express deep concern about the adverse socio-economic impact brought about by COVID-19. An idea to set up an APT reserve of essential medical supplies is considered...


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pp. 199-206
Launched on MUSE
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