23rd ASEAN-China Summit

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam acknowledges the People's Republic of China's support for ASEAN's Community-building efforts over the years, and towards mitigating COVID-19. In a titah at the 23rd ASEAN-China Summit, His Majesty also expresses appreciation for China's effective efforts in addressing the pandemic overseas, which have translated into positive outcomes for the region's economy, including continued growth of ASEAN and China's two-way trade despite the global economic downturn.

To this end, greater efforts are encouraged to further open up trade and realise the full potential of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement to facilitate ASEAN's recovery efforts. 2021 is a significant year to mark the 30th anniversaries of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations and Brunei-China Diplomatic Relations, as well as the centenary of the founding of the Communist Party of China. His Majesty acknowledges the opportunity next year to build greater understanding and deepen trust and confidence amongst ASEAN and China, which will enhance cooperation on all fronts in taking relations to greater heights.

Earlier at the Summit, His Excellency Nguy?n Xuân Phúc, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam as the ASEAN Chairman for 2020 in his remarks acknowledged 2020 as a year of significant challenges and called for collaboration from all international partners to overcome them. Despite this, ASEAN and China has managed to sustain cooperation including towards a cohesive and responsive recovery.

Meanwhile, His Excellency Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China in his statement highlighted on China becoming ASEAN's top trading partner and reiterated the commitment of China and ASEAN to pursue common development and promote mutually beneficial cooperation in East Asia to boost global development.

His Excellency Rodrigo Duterte, President of the Republic of the Philippines then delivered the ASEAN Common Statement as Country Coordinator for ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations, which showed China's strong support for ASEAN's regional architecture including ASEAN's Centrality and unity; and the significance of cooperation towards equitable distribution of safe, effective and affordable vaccines, diagnostics and medicine. President Duterte called for continued dialogue and coordination towards peace, stability and prosperity in the region, as well as underlined the commitment to a rules-based multilateral system to enhance trade and investment.

At the Summit, the leaders also touched on the importance of digital economy to regional resilience; trade and investment; connectivity and the ASEAN Smart Cities Network; people-to-people exchanges; and welcomed the designation of 2021 as the ASEAN-China Year of Sustainable Development Cooperation to cooperate on key areas for sustainable development.

Source: Radio Television Brunei