Hopes rise for tri-sum­mit to re­sume


China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHANG YUNBI in Bei­jing zhangyunbi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China, the Re­pub­lic of Korea and Ja­pan will re­lease de­tailed ar­range­ments for a tri­lat­eral sum­mit meet­ing at an ap­pro­pri­ate time and when “con­di­tions are ma­ture”, ac­cord­ing to a se­nior Chi­nese diplo­mat.

“If the tri­lat­eral sum­mit meet­ing is restarted, it will show that Chi­naJa­pan-ROK co­op­er­a­tion has emerged from a dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion, is back on track and has reached a new stage,” Yang Houlan, sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the Tri­lat­eral Co­op­er­a­tion Sec­re­tar­iat, told China Daily.

Five sum­mits were held be­fore Ja­pan’s re­la­tion­ship with its two neigh­bors en­coun­tered his­tor­i­cal and ter­ri­to­rial ten­sions in 2012.

Yang noted the fail­ure to hold a sum­mit since 2013 and said he was glad to see tri­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion grad­u­ally get­ting back on track with joint ef­forts by all par­ties.

For­eign min­is­ters from the three coun­tries met in March to dis­cuss fu­ture team­work.

Af­ter top lead­ers from China and the ROK ex­changed views last month over the sum­mit, a meet­ing at deputy di­rec­tor-gen­eral level was held on Sept 15 at the Seoul-based sec­re­tar­iat to ex­change views on tri­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion and hold­ing the sum­mit, Yang said.

He de­scribed the sum­mit as a “sig­nif­i­cant guid­ance” for team­work be­tween the three na­tions and called on them to seize the op­por­tu­nity to in­crease co­op­er­a­tion.

He said that if a sum­mit were held, the sec­re­tar­iat’s main aim would be to proac­tively as­sist the three par­ties and pre­pare for the meet­ing.

“An early re­sump­tion of the tri­lat­eral sum­mit will in­ject im­pe­tus into tri­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion and ac­cel­er­ate prag­matic co­op­er­a­tion in var­i­ous fields,” Yang said.

“The sta­ble de­vel­op­ment of tri­lat­eral prag­matic co­op­er­a­tion will also cre­ate a fa­vor­able po­lit­i­cal at­mos­phere for the sum­mit.”

Yang said the three coun­tries showed their will­ing­ness to reach an early con­clu­sion to tri­lat­eral free­trade agree­ment ne­go­ti­a­tions that were launched at the end of 2012. The eighth round of ne­go­ti­a­tions was held in Bei­jing on Sept 24 and 25.

The sec­re­tar­iat, es­tab­lished in Septem­ber 2011, has been led by Shin Bong-kil from the ROK and Iwatani Shi­geo from Ja­pan, each serv­ing a two-year term.

Yang took the sec­re­tary-gen­eral’s post in Septem­ber on be­half of China.

Be­fore his last post­ing as Chi­nese am­bas­sador toMyan­mar, he was deeply in­volved in ROK-re­lated af­fairs at the Chi­nese em­bassy in Seoul from 2000 to 2006.

Yang praised the hard work of his pre­de­ces­sors, and at­trib­uted the lack of po­lit­i­cal mu­tual trust and wors­en­ing na­tional sen­ti­ments to is­sues in­clud­ing his­tor­i­cal and ter­ri­to­rial ones.

He said good bi­lat­eral re­la­tions are im­por­tant foun­da­tions for tri­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion.

“When bi­lat­eral re­la­tion­ships are in dif­fi­culty, there is an in­evitable im­pact on tri­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion,” he said.

Yang said the sec­re­tar­iat would en­cour­age tri­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion.

It would in­crease its own added value and press ahead with public diplo­macy to come up with more fea­si­ble pol­icy sug­ges­tions.

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