The inaugural meeting of the Joint Council of the ASEAN-China Centre (ACC) was held in Beijing on 18 May 2012. Charge d’Affaires of the Philippine Embassy Mr. Alex Chua represented the Philippines at the meeting.
The ASEAN-China Centre is a one-stop shop for information and activities aimed at promoting ASEAN-China cooperation in the areas of trade, investment, education, culture, and tourism. The ACC Headquarters is located in Beijing, with affiliated centres envisioned to be set up in ASEAN countries and other parts of China in the future.
The Meeting reviewed and adopted several documents related to the institutionalization of the ACC, such as the design of the logo, rules of procedure of the Joint Council, the organizational structure and internal regulations of the ACC Secretariat, the work programme and budget for the year 2012. The Joint Council meeting was co-chaired by H.E. Tong Xiaoling, China’s Ambassador to ASEAN, and Amb. Mr. Kan Pharidh, Cambodia’s Permanent Representative to ASEAN. The Chinese and ASEAN co-chairs both expressed their hope and confidence that the Centre will contribute to the strengthening of the strategic partnership between ASEAN and China.
In his remarks, Mr. Chua welcomed the full operationalization of the Centre and stated that the Philippines “looks forward to the Centre’s contribution to the expansion of ASEAN-China relations, particularly in the areas of trade and investment under the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement, SMEs, tourism, cultural and people-to-people exchanges.”
The ACC was officially launched on 18 November 2011 during the ASEAN-China Commemorative Summit in Bali, which celebrated 20 years of dialogue partnership between ASEAN and China. As an intergovernmental organization, the ACC is funded through contributions from China and ASEAN countries and manned by officials from ASEAN and China. It is currently headed by Secretary-General Ma Mingqiang from China.
At the sidelines of the meeting, Secretary-General Ma said that the Centre launched a promotional tour to advance ASEAN-China economic and trade cooperation and publicize ASEAN-China FTA policies in the Chinese provinces of Tianjin, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Ningxia.
The flag of the ASEAN-China Centre in Beijing was raised for the first time on 18 May, following the Joint Council’s approval of the ACC logo.