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  • China–Asean Relations January 2021 to March 2021: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


11th–12th Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi travels to Myanmar, Indonesia, Brunei and the Philippines to pay official visits between 11 and 16 January. Wang meets with Myanmar's President U Win Myint (11 January), State Councillor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi (11 January), and Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Min Aung Hlaing (12 January). Both sides sign a number of agreements, including the Five-year Plan for Economic and Trade Cooperation, the bilateral agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation, and the memorandum of understanding to conduct a feasibility study of the Mandalay–Kyaukphyu section of the China–Myanmar Railway. Both sides also jointly announce the beginning of the construction of the China-aided Myanmar National Centre of Disease Control.
13th–14th In Indonesia, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets separately with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and Coordinator for Cooperation with China Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan. Wang notes that the cooperation between the two countries in conducting the Phase 3 clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use has set an example of cooperation on vaccines among regional and developing countries. Indonesia welcomes increased investment from China and looks forward to hosting China's electric vehicle manufacturers. Both sides have signed memoranda of understanding on developing cybersecurity capacity-building and technical cooperation, and on bilateral cooperation on the "Two Countries, Twin Parks" project.
14th–15th Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrives in Brunei and meets separately with the Bruneian Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Second Minister of Foreign Affairs Erywan bin Pehin Yusof and Minister of Finance and Economy II Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah. Wang and Second Minister Erywan co-host the Second China–Brunei Intergovernmental Joint Steering Committee Meeting. Both sides announce the establishment of an energy cooperation working group and another working group on marine cooperation. The Chinese side highlights the need to facilitate the construction of Hengyi PMB Refinery and Petrochemical Project and Guangxi–Brunei Economic Corridor. The Bruneian side welcomes more investment from Chinese enterprises to enhance cooperation in e-commerce and the digital economy and to diversify its economic development.
ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi meets with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and shares that ASEAN will be focusing on poverty alleviation, disaster prevention and mitigation, and sustainable development in 2021, and is willing to enhance capacity-building with China in relevant fields. Wang expresses readiness to step up cooperation in the digital economy and to grow the China–ASEAN Investment Cooperation Fund.
16th Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin in Manila. Both sides jointly announce the launch of "fast tracks" for essential personnel exchanges and unveil a plaque to mark the establishment of the Manila branch of the Bank of China as the Chinese currency renminbi clearing bank in the Philippines. Wang also attends the inauguration of the Manila Forum for China–Philippines Relations and the ceremony of the Award for Promoting Philippines–China Understanding with former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo via video link.
19th Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui presides over a video meeting held with Myanmar and Bangladesh to discuss the issue of repatriating displaced persons and Rohingya refugees from Rakhine state. The three sides agree to maintain consultations at vice-ministerial level to prepare for the tripartite ministerial meeting, and to quickly launch the repatriation of the first batch.
21st The 17th Foreign Ministers' Meeting of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue, themed "The New Normal and Safe and Healthy Tourism", is attended by representatives from 35 member states, who come together via virtual meeting link to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism sector and to identify revitalisation measures. The meeting adopts the Ankara Declaration which serves as a road map...


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