ASEAN-China Relations: Realities and Prospects

ASEAN-China Relations: Realities and Prospects

ASEAN-China Relations: Realities and Prospects

ASEAN-China Relations: Realities and Prospects


The past decade has witnessed rapid development in ASEAN-China relations. Both sides now have more in common than before, though differences still exist. ASEAN and China have established a promising strategic partnership ensuring peace, stability, co-operation as well as prosperity for the region. New challenges will, however, continue to emerge to test the resolve of the partnership. This book examines some of the areas of convergence and divergence and the possible trajectories of the development of ASEAN-China relations.


The rise of China is one of the most critical developments in the world today. Some are reflective on its meaning and implications. Others ponder over the long-term impact on the region's security landscape while exploring security cooperation with this major power. The regional business community seeks to adjust to this change, wondering how to ride the tide of benefits that can come with the creation of an ASEAN-China Free Trade Area. There will be the downside but, for the present, the focus is on the immense opportunities that will come with the rise of China. Both ASEAN and China are hoping for a win-win outcome. For better or worse, the rise of China is a development we can ill afford to ignore.

To provide a comprehensive understanding of China's rapid rise and explore the impact and implications for ASEAN, the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) organized the first ASEAN-China Forum from 23 to 24 June 2004 in Singapore. The forum brought together more than thirty reputable experts and scholars from China and ASEAN countries. They included strategic thinkers, senior economists and policy advisers from leading research institutions and think-tanks. Among the Chinese participants were representatives from the State Council, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence, and Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

HE Ong Keng Yong, ASEAN Secretary General, delivered the keynote address on how to develop ASEAN-China relations, while Professor Cai Bingkui, PLA Major General and Vice Chairman of China Institute for International Strategic Studies, delivered the luncheon speech on "China's Peaceful Development and Relations with Its East Asian Neighbours".

Issues discussed at the forum included ASEAN and China assessments of the evolving security environment in Southeast Asia; the role of other major powers; the prospects for ASEAN-China maritime security cooperation . . .

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