Speech by Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan At the ASEAN plus China, Japan and Korea Foreign Ministers' Meeting
（30 July 2002, Seri Begawan）
Your Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah,
It gives me great pleasure to attend this ASEAN plus China, Japan and Korea Foreign Ministers' Meeting, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Government of Negara Brunei Darussalam for its hospitality and thoughtful arrangements.
The past year witnessed turbulence in international situation. At the forefront of international fight against terrorism, the Asia Pacific region has gone through the most profound changes in the post Cold-War period. At the same time, we have noted that the overall trend towards peace and development remains unchanged, and to maintain stability and develop economy is still the major policy orientation for most countries in the region. During the first half of this year, the world economic situation has taken a turn for the better, and the East Asian economies have enjoyed a rebound.
Regional cooperation has remarkably picked up speed with dynamism and vitality, which has become a prominent feature of the current regional development. Shanghai Cooperation Organization has scored new achievements, the First Foreign Ministers' Informal Meeting of Asia Cooperation Dialogue was successfully held, and the annual meeting of Boao Forum for Asia was officially launched. Negotiations and development of various bilateral and multilateral free trade areas have also injected new vitality into Asian cooperation. Seeking development and peace through cooperation has become a common aspiration for more and more Asian countries.
In this new round of cooperation, 10+3 is the one that enjoys the greatest progress and bright future. The annual 10+3 summit meeting has become one of the grandest gatherings of the region. The establishment of 6 ministerial meeting mechanisms of foreign affairs, finance, economy, agriculture and forestry, tourism and labor has given a strong boost to the cooperation in relevant fields. The financial cooperation, in particular, has made substantive progress. The East Asia Vision Group and East Asia Study Group have supplied many new ideas for the growth of 10+3 cooperation. The 10+3 cooperation now serves as an important engine for regional cooperation in Asia.
The reason why the 10+3 cooperation has witnessed fairly fast development is that the participants, proceeding from the need to cope with the challenges brought by the globalization, attach more importance to regional cooperation and take 10+3 as their priority. The second reason is that the 10+3 cooperation focuses on the fields where consensus has been reached, especially in economic cooperation, thus meeting the needs of all sides. Thirdly, ASEAN has given a strong impetus to the cooperation. The 10+3 cooperation in many fields has been developed on the basis of existing cooperation within ASEAN. In general, 10+3 is finding a way of development suited to the diversity in the region and is maintaining a good momentum of development.
Meanwhile, we should not fail to see that 10+3 cooperation has not been launched for long, substantive cooperation has just taken shape and the overall cooperation is yet to reach a higher level. A Chinese old saying goes like this, he who acts will succeed; he who proceeds will arrive. Despite a good start, to further upgrade the cooperation level and maintain the momentum of constant growth amidst the development and changes of the times is the major issue that 10+3 faces. I would like to offer a few points of view on this:
I. 10+3 should gradually explore new fields for cooperation while focusing on economic cooperation. Given the new situation after "9.11" Incident, Premier Zhu Rongji proposed at last year's 10+3 Leaders' Summit to phase in political and security cooperation and to begin with cooperation in the non-traditional security fields. In view of this, the Chinese side suggested a 10+3 Ministerial Meeting on Combating Transnational Crimes to promote cooperation, including fight against terrorism, drug abuse, illegal immigration, transnational crimes, financial and economic crimes, cyber crimes and cult crimes. This suggestion won preliminary endorsement on the 10+3 Senior Officials' Meeting last May. We hope that it will be supported by our current Meeting, so that it will be submitted for approval and adoption at the 10+3 Summit this year.
II. To further strengthen coordination among various cooperation mechanisms. While the fields for 10+3 cooperation are currently expanding and relevant cooperation mechanisms have been established, there should be better coordination among various mechanisms. China, Japan and ROK should strengthen exchanges on development of their respective cooperation with ASEAN, in order to conduct highly effective cooperation with full utilization of the limited resources. The 10+3 Foreign Ministers' Meeting shoulders important responsibility in coordinating cooperation of all parties. The Chinese side supports the establishment of the 10+3 meeting mechanism at the competent Foreign Ministry Director General level, and maintains that the function of the 10+3 Senior Foreign Officials Meeting should be strengthened to coordinate the 10+3 cooperation process.
III. To boost the overall cooperation in East Asia with 10+3 as the main channel. The 3rd 10+3 Summit in Manila, 1999, released the Joint Statement on East Asia Cooperation, explicitly defining East Asia cooperation as the goal of the 10+3 cooperation. As 10+3 grows, countries in the region have reached broader agreement with a stronger awareness of the need for cooperation. In this connection, the Chinese side is in favor of exchanging views on such concepts as the East Asian Summit and the East Asia Free Trade Area and maintains that East Asia cooperation should move at a pace comfortable to all parties. China supports ASEAN in continuing to play an important role in East Asia cooperation.
China is member of Asia as well as the largest developing country in the region. To ensure regional peace, stability and development is in conformity with the needs of China and is also in the common interests of all countries in the region. Therefore, while developing the good-neighborly and friendly relations with its neighboring countries, China has actively supported and participated in regional cooperation in Asia and has taken practical measures to materialize the consensus reached among leaders at 10+3 annual summits. Since the beginning of last year, to press ahead with the "Chiang Mai Initiative", the Chinese side has signed bilateral currency swap agreements with Thailand, Japan and ROK, and begun consultations and contacts with other ASEAN countries. The Chinese side has held 4 training courses for 10+3 financial and central bank officials and another 4 are to be held in the two years to come. This October, China will host a High-Level Seminar on Short-term Capital Flow. In agricultural field, the Chinese side has just held East Asia Forum on Agricultural Technology and Cooperation, marking a good beginning for 10+3 agricultural cooperation.
East Asia is a force to be reckoned with in today's world from political, economic, cultural and geographical perspectives. Some countries tend to portray East Asia as a source of frictions and conflicts. In fact, for a long period of time, and even in the wake of the Asian financial crisis, East Asia has enjoyed fastest economic growth in the world, and seeking economic development has always been the central task for the relevant countries in the region. The strengthening of regional cooperation will provide a continuous impetus to East Asian development. I am fully convinced that as long as we make joint efforts to enhance cooperation and promote development, we will realize lasting peace, stability and prosperity in East Asia.