22 December 2021

The ASEAN-China Youth Summit: Celebrating 30 Years of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations

AUN Writer Team

By Carlos Harry De Taza, AUN Intern

The ASEAN-China Youth Summit 2021 was held last Saturday, 11th December 2021. Organized by Southeast Asian and Chinese youth group The Young SEAkers, the summit commemorates 30 years of ASEAN-China dialogue relations.

The summit was marked by panel discussions on youth entrepreneurship, youth-led sustainability, and creating a “she economy” for gender equality in the ASEAN and China.  The panels were led by Chinese and Southeast Asian youth leaders in business and in government.
AUN Director Dr. Choltis Dhirathiti and ASEAN Foundation Director Dr. Yang Mee Eng, who were invited as guests of honours, delivered opening addresses to the attendees.

In his address, Dr. Choltis pressed on the fundamental idea that the youth’s success depends on the enterprise of the youth themselves. This involves exposure to other cultures and understanding how the world works – things that cannot simply be handed down or taught in universities.

Given today’s complex environment brought by digitalization and the effects of a pandemic, Dr. Choltis remarked on the university’s role as a mere facilitator for molding global and lifelong learners. It is organizations such as the Young SEAkers he says, that drive and show the growing collaboration of ASEAN and Chinese youths in a positive direction.

For her part, Dr. Yang looked back on how ASEAN-China relations have transformed into a dynamic and crucial partnership. She sees that this has only become more evident as the two partners grapple with COVID-19 in mutual support.
In the future, Dr. Yang looks forward to the implementation of the ASEAN-China comprehensive strategic partnership, which will advance ASEAN-China cooperation in all sectors. She stresses how this can open more opportunities for ASEAN-China knowledge and cultural exchange, aims of which the Young SEAkers have contributed to.

With the spirit of 30 years of ASEAN-China dialogue relations, the Young SEAkers hope that platforms such as this summit could further facilitate exchanges and cooperation between Southeast Asian and Chinese youths and changemakers.