On March 19, 2021, the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam and China Foreign Affairs University co-chaired the Country Coordinator Meeting and the Annual Meeting of the Network of ASEAN-China Think-tanks (NACT) with the theme “NACT Forum on the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN - China Dialogue Relations: Towards Sustainable Development” in hybrid form. Attending the meeting were representatives of the ASEAN Secretariat, representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam, China, Brunei, the NACT coordinators, and scholars from the member countries. The meeting aims to discuss NACT activities in 2021 and exchange views on ASEAN-China dialogue relations in the new context.
2021 marks 30 years of ASEAN-China dialogue relations. On this occasion, at the ASEAN-China Summit (November 2020), the leaders of the two sides designated 2021 as the ASEAN-China Year of Sustainable Development Cooperation. Accordingly, the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam cooperated with the China Foreign University to successfully organize an annual meeting with the theme “NACT Forum on the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN - China Dialogue Relations: Towards Sustainable Development”. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Dr. Nguyen Hung Son, Vice President of the Diplomatic Academy and Professor Xu Jian, President of the China Foreign Affairs University emphasized that ASEAN-China relations have recorded many important milestones over the past 30 years. The two sides have worked together to deal with various challenges and crises, thereby increasingly strengthening the cohesive relationship. Dr. Nguyen Hung Son, and Professor Xu Jian highly appreciated the role of the NACT mechanism in Track II diplomacy and asked scholars to openly discuss and candidly exchange views at the meeting. Speaking at the meeting, the representative of the ASEAN Secretariat also highly appreciated NACT’s substantial contributions to the ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations. The ASEAN Secretariat also hopes that NACT’s activities will continue to be promoted, following the directions and requirements of Track I to provide important research-based recommendation to contribute to promoting ASEAN-China relations in the coming time.
In this spirit, all presentations and discussions at the meeting expressed the desire to build a substantive, fair, prosperous, and sustainable ASEAN-China dialogue relationship. Delegates expressed that over the past time, the two sides have actively cooperated for mutual development and achieved many remarkable results, making an important contribution to the development of each member country in particular and the development of ASEAN - China relations in general. In the coming time, it is forecasted that the regional and global situation will become increasingly complex. As a result, new risks and challenges can emerge suddenly, posing severe impacts on security and development. Thus, the delegates affirmed it is necessary for the parties to continue promoting dialogue mechanisms and cooperation to resolve together challenges, with the common objective of sustainable development.
The Network of ASEAN - China Think-tanks (NACT) is the Track II mechanism of the ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations. It is launched in 2014, whose members are research institutes representing ten ASEAN countries and China. With three meeting mechanisms, including Country Coordinator Meeting, Annual Meeting, and Working Group Meeting, the results of NACT are reported to and acknowledged by Track I. In 2021, it is expected that NACT will continue to organize three working groups on regional affairs including supply chain shifts, sustainable environmental cooperation, and post-Covid-19 ASEAN-China relations.