|Address by Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi at ASEAN Plus Three Foreign Ministers Meeting|
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the ASEAN Plus Three cooperation and provides a good opportunity for us to review past progress and discuss ways to boost future
Ten years ago, following the trend of economic globalization and regional integration and facing the severe impact of the Asian financial crisis, the East Asian countries seized opportunities and rose up to the challenge by launching the ASEAN Plus Three process initiated by the ASEAN. This has opened a new way for countries in our region to enhance unity and mutually-beneficial cooperation and provided good experience for promoting regional cooperation in
The ASEAN Plus Three has maintained sound momentum of growth in the past decade. Multi-level dialogue and cooperation mechanisms have been established and improved, 26 short-term and mid-to-long-term areas of cooperation have been identified and the ultimate goal of building an East Asia Community has been set. The following principles guiding cooperation have been adopted: the ASEAN be in the driver's seat, building consensus, making gradual progress, taking into account the comfort level of all parties, equality, mutual benefit, mutual respect and seeking common understanding and putting aside differences. The ASEAN Plus Three cooperation has made significant progress. The East Asian countries maintain frequent political exchanges and enjoy enhanced traditional friendship and mutual trust. Negotiations are underway to conclude bilateral and multilateral FTAs, and there is increasing intra-regional economic and trade dependence.
Today ten years later, the ASEAN Plus Three faces both development opportunities and many challenges. Political mutual trust among countries in the region remains to be strengthened. Peace and stability in the region still face threats and challenges. Economic development in our region is unbalanced, and some countries still lag behind in economic and social development. The overall competitiveness of
The ASEAN Plus Three is a dynamic process. We should make more efforts in the following four areas to ensure its vigor and its due role as the main vehicle in building the East Asia Community.
First, respect each other and seek common ground while shelving differences.
Second, work in unity and cooperation. The ASEAN Plus Three cooperation aims to build a harmonious
Third, conduct practical cooperation for common development. The building of East Asia Community rests on
Fourth, be open, inclusive and draw on each other's strengths. The ASEAN Plus Three cooperation, the ASEAN Plus One (China, Japan and ROK) cooperation, ARF and EAS are all regional forums and cooperation mechanisms aimed at ensuring peace, stability, development and prosperity in East Asia. Each of them has its own special features and they are interdependent and mutually reinforcing. We must remain committed to the principle of being open and inclusive, respect different cooperation mechanisms and their development dynamics and encourage the sharing of best practices between the ASEAN Plus Three cooperation and other cooperation mechanisms in the region to expand and upgrade
I wish to emphasize that as a member of the ASEAN Plus Three cooperation, China is committed to building good-neighborly relations and partnerships with its neighbors and strengthening cooperation in the region. On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of East Asia cooperation, together with the ASEAN, Japan and ROK, we are ready to comprehensively review the achievements and experience of the ASEAN Plus Three cooperation, look to the future and draw up a plan of cooperation for the next 10 years to maintain peace and stability, promote prosperity and development in the region and write a new chapter in the annals of East Asia cooperation.