Concept Paper 2024 ASEAN-China Year of People-to-people Exchanges

I. Background

China and ASEAN are close neighbors sharing mountains and rivers. People-to-people and cultural exchanges not only bond China and ASEAN together, but also lay a solid foundation for the growth of bilateral ties and the creation of an even better future for both sides.

Over the past decade since President Xi Jinping proposed the building of a closer ASEAN-China community of shared future, the two sides have enjoyed deepening exchanges and cooperation in tourism, education, culture, sports, and among media, think tanks, women and other groups. 

At present, China and ASEAN countries are working to promote post-COVID recovery while people-to-people exchanges bounce back. To capitalize on the momentum, China and ASEAN have agreed to designate 2024 as the ASEAN-China Year of People-to-people Exchanges (hereinafter referred to as the “Year”) to strengthen exchanges and mutual learning, enrich the comprehensive strategic partnership, and jointly build a peaceful, safe and secure, prosperous, beautiful and amicable homeland.

II. Tentative Program

In early 2024, China plans to hold with ASEAN a launching ceremony of the Year in China, and invite participants from various sectors on both sides. With inputs from ASEAN countries, China will formulate a list of activities for the Year and circulate it during the launching ceremony. The general public in China and ASEAN is welcome to take part in the activities of the Year.

Throughout 2024, Chinese and ASEAN government departments, non-governmental friendship organizations, business communities and other entities are encouraged to jointly carry out exchanges and cooperation in youth, non-governmental, education, culture, tourism, media, science and technology, and local cooperation, including but not limited to:

1. For youth exchanges, a series of activities will be organized for young people from China and ASEAN countries to better understand and know each other. The 15th ASEAN-China Youth Campus, the 10th ASEAN-China Young Leaders Exchange Festival, and the Panda Cup Thai Youth China Essay Contest will be held.

2. For grassroots exchanges, to strengthen people-to-people friendship, there will be various activities carried out by non-governmental friendship organizations and charity organizations, such as the ASEAN-China People-to-People Friendship Organization Leaders’ Meeting, and the ASEAN-China Heart to Heart Program, a program that is devoted to cure children with congenital heart disease in ASEAN.

3. For education exchanges, institutions in this field at all levels from both sides will be invited to carry out cooperation in preschool, vocational and tertiary education, so as to provide intellectual support for sustainable development on both sides. Activities such as the ASEAN-China Educational Exchange Week 2024 and the Zhejiang-Southeast Asia Preschool Exchange Conference 2024 will be held.

4. On culture and sports, activities such as the ASEAN-China Cultural Forum and the ASEAN-China Martial Arts Competition will be held.

5. For media exchanges, the two sides will work together for the integrated development and cooperation of the new and traditional media. There will be activities such as the ASEAN-China Media Week and the Top 10 Stories of China-ASEAN Cooperation.

6. For cross-border exchanges, a tourism exhibition during the ASEAN-China Expo, a training course on ASEAN-China tourism and culture, and a training course for immigration officials of of ASEAN Plus Three countries will be held.

7. On innovation and entrepreneurship, activities such as the 2nd ASEAN-China Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition and the 8th Youth Innovation Competition on Lancang-Mekong Region's Governance and Development (YICMG) will be held.

8. For local exchanges, China will continue to hold activities such as China-Vietnam and China-Myanmar border gala, and carry out practical cooperation and exchange projects in various fields.

9.  For governance exchanges, we will continue to host the China-ASEAN Women's Forum and the Forum for persons with Disabilities, carry out exchanges and cooperation on women entrepreneurship, enhancing women's capacity for scientific and technological innovation, and promoting the rights of persons with disabilities as well as strengthening the empowerment and development of special groups.

At the end of 2024, China will hold with ASEAN the closing ceremony of the Year to take stock of the achievements and highlights, and encourage people on both sides to continue and carry forward the friendship. China will consult with ASEAN countries to formulate a fact sheet of activities for the Year, and submit it to the 27th ASEAN-China Summit.

III. Publicity

A promotion film, documentary or interview program for the Year is planned to be produced, and will be promoted and broadcast in the media of both China and ASEAN countries to enhance the impact of the Year.

Media from both sides are invited to give broad coverage of the launching ceremony and activities throughout the year. Chinese and ASEAN Diplomatic missions will also be invited to publicize the projects and highlights of the Year. And the public is encouraged for extensive participation and interaction to expand the coverage of the Year. (2023-09-07

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