ASEAN, China, S. Korea, Japan vow to deepen cooperation

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MANILA, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) — Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Monday that ASEAN and its three dialogue partners – China, Japan and South Korea (10+3) – could deepen their cooperation against the backdrop of rising protectionism.

Wang said in the group meeting that China is and will always be an active participant and promoter in the cooperation between the 10-member ASEAN and their three East Asian dialogue partners.

He said that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the start-up of the 10+3 mechanism and the practical cooperation in the group has made new progress since last year.

The Chinese top diplomat suggested the 10+3 mechanism should act as the main channel in deepening practical cooperation, so as to push the group’s cooperation to a higher level.

Wang, who is in Manila attending the East Asia Summit foreign minsters’ meeting and other related meetings, indicated that the 13 countries could deepen cooperation in six aspects.

The first is to pay more attention to planning and guideline for the group’s sustainable development, Wang said.

“We can draw from the successful experience of ASEAN and build a platform for East Asia cooperation, following the example of ASEAN Community Blueprint,” he said.

Wang pointed out that the second important thing is to promote the cooperation in ensuring food security and support exchanges and cooperation in agricultural sector.

“Thirdly, we should strengthen cooperation in sustainable development, enhance cooperation in poverty reduction and small- and medium-sized enterprises, and narrow the gap between the poor and rich,” Wang said.

He called for a deepened cooperation in finance and economics in the group, saying they should strive for an early agreement on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

“The fifth important thing is to innovate industrial cooperation model. Everyone should exploit its advantages to the full and engage in industrial capacity cooperation,” Wang said.

The last but not the least, Wang said the group should strengthen people-to-people exchanges to promote cultural and regional exchanges in the region.

ASEAN foreign ministers highly appreciated the role the 10+3 mechanism is playing as a main channel of regional cooperation, hoping the three dialogue partners to exert more efforts to help ASEAN nations achieve common development and prosperity.

Ministers of China, Japan and South Korea expressed support in the building of the ASEAN community and hoped that Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) could be reached as early as possible so as to protect global free trade.

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