Phnom Penh, Cambodia
November 11, 2022

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and his fellow Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Leaders convened with Premier Li Keqiang of the People’s Republic of China at the 25th ASEAN–China Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

China is the ASEAN’s largest trading partner with total trade between the Region and China amounting to US$669 billion in 2021 which is an increase of 28%, with foreign direct investment (FDI) reaching US$13.6 billion in the same year, up nearly twice the values of FDI in 2020, according to ASEAN Chair Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia.

In his intervention, President Marcos Jr. pushed for the immediate conclusion of a Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea based on international law, stressing that the COC becomes more relevant as nations marked 40 and 20 years of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC).

The Chief Executive emphasized that ASEAN Centrality must remain the bedrock of cooperation, stating that the ‘truest’ barometers of the Region’s success or failure are its people and the communities. Despite the increasing geopolitical tensions, nations must firmly choose cooperation over competition at every turn.

He also tackled post-pandemic recovery by ensuring food security, noting that the designation of 2023 as the ASEAN-China Year of Agricultural Development and Food Security Cooperation is a welcome development for intensified cooperation.

His Excellency Kao Kim Hourn, Minister Delegate Attached to the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, said the Summit is crucial in reviewing the relationship and cooperation between the regional bloc and China that has evolved into a high level comprehensive strategic partnership.

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