On the morning of July 1, 2004, Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing attended the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China, Japan and Korea Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. He stressed at the meeting that to enhance regional cooperation is an important part of China's foreign policy with neighboring countries and that the Chinese government actively supports and participates in regional cooperation in a bid to achieve common development with its neighbors.
The meeting highlighted an in-depth discussion on the orientation of future cooperation between ASEAN and China, Japan and Korea as well as the current regional and international situations. Li noted in his speech for the meeting that the overall situation of East Asia maintains a momentum of peace, development and cooperation. With rapid economic expansion of member states and progress in the arrangement of diversified free trade, intra-regional trade increases dramatically. The political situation and overall relations between East Asian countries maintain stable. Mutual understanding and identity were deepened between the peoples in this region who are inspired for enhanced cooperation.
Li proposed the following suggestions on how to promote the cooperation mechanism of 10 plus 3 in East Asia and make it keep up with the times under the new situation. We need to explore and discuss issues related to the orientation of future cooperation in East Asia such as the "East Asian Community" and we support ASEAN to play a leading role in this process. We suggest regarding free trade cooperation as the priority for mid-term cooperation and leverage it as an opportunity to promote the domestic demand within East Asia and to push forward the economic integration of Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia. We support the initiative to hold an East Asia Summit to promote new steps toward East Asian cooperation. We support the gradual implementation of policy measures proposed in the Final Report of East Asian Study Group. We shall mobilize all walks of life and push forward the business community, the media and the academia to participate more actively in East Asian cooperation. We need to uphold the idea of open regionalism and intensify contact and coordination with other regional cooperation mechanisms.
Li also updated the meeting with the third round of talks on the Korean nuclear issue which were held in Beijing not long ago. The Foreign Ministers thought highly of the important and active role China has played and wished the talks to witness continuous developments.
Earlier in the morning, Li met with the Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda. The two sides highly commended the sound momentum of the development of China-Indonesia relations, indicating that they would promote the consultations on relevant cooperative projects so as to expand bilateral cooperation in various fields. Li also exchanged views with his Indonesian counterpart on the acceleration of the negotiation process on China-ASEAN Free Trade Area as well as other regional issues.