Li calls for build­ing East Asia com­mu­nity

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TOP NEWS - By ZHANG YUE in Manila and MO JINGXI in Beijing Con­tact the writ­ers at mo­jingxi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China called for joint ef­forts to ad­vance con­struc­tion of an East Asia eco­nomic com­mu­nity for re­gional in­te­gra­tion and com­mon de­vel­op­ment on Tues­day in Manila.

Premier Li Ke­qiang, ad­dress­ing the 20th ASEAN-China, Ja­pan and Repub­lic of Korea (10+3) lead­ers’ meet­ing, said it is a strate­gic goal of 10+3 co­op­er­a­tion to build such a com­mu­nity. It also meets the longterm, fun­da­men­tal in­ter­ests of the re­gion’s peo­ple, he said.

Over the past two decades, Li said, 10+3 co­op­er­a­tion has be­come one of the most re­mark­able achieve­ments in Asia, con­tribut­ing to re­gional peace and de­vel­op­ment.

Li said it is im­por­tant to seize the op­por­tu­nity to push for­ward the con­struc­tion of an East Asia eco­nomic com­mu­nity to make the re­gion an en­gine for global eco­nomic re­cov­ery amid the rise of antiglob­al­iza­tion sen­ti­ments and trade pro­tec­tion­ism.

Con­struc­tion of such a com­mu­nity should boost re­gional eco­nomic in­te­gra­tion for com­mon de­vel­op­ment, while putting ASEAN in a cen­tral po­si­tion and ad­her­ing to con­sen­sus through con­sul­ta­tion, the Chi­nese premier said.

He also said 10+3 co­op­er­a­tion is the main chan­nel for pro­mot­ing the East Asia Eco­nomic Com­mu­nity.

Li put for­ward a six-point pro­posal to do this in­volv­ing trade lib­er­al­iza­tion and fa­cil­i­ta­tion, pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity, in­fra­struc­ture, fi­nance, sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment and peo­ple-to-peo­ple ex­changes.

As China keeps open­ing up, a more open and pros­per­ous China will pro­vide more mar­kets, growth, in­vest­ment and op­por­tu­nity for co­op­er­a­tion for coun­tries in East Asia and glob­ally, Li added.

Ja­panese Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe, ROK Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in and lead­ers of the 10 mem­ber states of ASEAN also at­tended the meet­ing, presided over by Philip­pine Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte. Par­tic­i­pants traded views on such is­sues as the re­la­tion­ship of trade and in­vest­ment and the en­vi­ron­ment and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment. They is­sued a state­ment on food se­cu­rity co­op­er­a­tion and a dec­la­ra­tion on the 20th an­niver­sary of 10+3 co­op­er­a­tion.

The 10+3 mech­a­nism was es­tab­lished in the late 1990s when ASEAN coun­tries de­cided to en­hance co­op­er­a­tion with other ma­jor economies of Asia.

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