China asks Asean Plus Three to maintain stability in East Asia

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attends the Asean Plus Three Foreign Ministers' Meeting via video link on Aug 3, 2021. -FMPRC.GOV.CN

BEIJING (Xinhua): China has called on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, China, Japan and South Korea (Asean Plus Three or 10+3) to make concerted efforts and carry out vigorous cooperation to promote overall economic recovery and improve East Asian countries' crisis response capabilities.

Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the remarks when attending an Asean, China, Japan, South Korea (10+3) foreign ministers' meeting on Tuesday (Aug 3).

Wang also said that joint efforts should be made, from a long-term perspective, to improve the mechanism, resilience and vitality of the 10+3 cooperation to maintain the hard-won stability and prosperity that has lasted for many years in East Asia.

Noting that the 10+3 countries are the backbone of East Asian cooperation, Wang said that all parties should consider the 25th anniversary of the launch of 10+3 cooperation next year as an opportunity to plan a roadmap for future cooperation.

Wang put forward a four-point-proposal:

Firstly, all sides should jointly build a barrier against the pandemic in East Asia. Wang said that China has provided countries across the world with over 750 million vaccine doses, will provide 110 million doses to Covax over the next four months, and will provide an additional US$3bil of international aid in the next three years.

China will further increase its supply of vaccines to assist other countries' vaccination drive.

Virus origin tracing is a serious scientific issue which concerns the common interests of the international community, Wang said.

China hopes that all parties will uphold a scientific, fair and objective position, oppose the attempts to politicize the virus origin tracing, resist the "political virus" infringing on virus origin tracing, and work together to prevent future risks as well as maintain global public health security, said Wang.

Secondly, all sides should jointly promote East Asia economic integration. Wang noted that efforts should be made for the implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) at an early date and accelerate the process of regional economic integration.

Thirdly, all sides should jointly seek the transformation and development of East Asia.

Wang said that it is imperative to accelerate regional digital transformation, make good use of the scale advantages of the markets in East Asian countries, and carry out practical cooperation on artificial intelligence and the digital economy.

Fourthly, all sides should jointly build a foundation of common values in East Asia, and jointly pursue humanity's common values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom, said Wang.

Foreign ministers of Japan, South Korea and Asean member states spoke highly of the remarkable results of 10+3 cooperation.

All agreed to strengthen vaccine research and development cooperation, uphold multilateralism and free trade, and expand cooperation in emerging areas such as the digital economy and climate change to promote the green and sustainable development in the region.

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