Wen Jiabao Makes Important Remarks at the Press Conference of China-Japan-ROK Summit
To Deepen Cooperation and Work Together to Overcome Current Difficulties
On December 13, 2008, Wen Jiabao, Premier of the State Council of China, shared his views on the cooperation among the three countries and the efforts made by China for the maintenance of regional economic and financial stability at the press conference of China-Japan-ROK Summit.
Wen said that China, Japan and the Republic of Korean (ROK) are close neighbors and countries with important influence in East Asia. Peace, amity, cooperation and development are not only the common aspirations of the people of the three countries, but also required for the stability and prosperity in the region. The leaders issued the Joint Statement for Tripartite Partnership, which established a tripartite partnership among the three countries. The leaders agreed to regularize the 'stand-alone' meeting of the leaders of the three countries, which is of great significance and symbolizes that the trilateral cooperation has entered a new stage of development. The next summit will be held in China next year. As the successive coordinator for the trilateral cooperation, China is ready to work together with Japan and the ROK to promote cooperation among the three countries for greater progress.
Wen said that the current financial crisis continues to spread, having increasingly greater impact on the world economy. China, Japan and the ROK are important economic players in Asia and the world, thus together we should strive to respond to the once-in-a-century crisis. We should step up our dialogue on macroeconomic policies and promote economic cooperation in East Asia and take concrete measures to facilitate investment and trade. We should oppose trade protectionism. This should contribute to financial stabilization and economic growth of the region and the world and thus play a positive role in enhancing the confidence of the region and the world in dealing with the financial crisis.
Wen Jiabao pointed out that the cooperation among the three countries is an integral part of the East Asian regional cooperation and is a type of open cooperation based upon mutual benefits. The trilateral cooperation also complements, promotes and supports other regional cooperation mechanisms such as East Asian cooperation mechanism so as to share development opportunities and provide greater space for cooperation. With the joint statement on trilateral cooperation in disaster management and the action plan for China-Japan-ROK cooperation in the coming two to three years, we have added further substance to the trilateral cooperation and thus will inject new vitalities to the East Asian regional cooperation. Thus, the promotion of our cooperation is in the interest of not just the three countries but also of the countries in East Asia in general.
Wen stressed that strengthening bilateral cooperation is the foundation and guarantee for the trilateral cooperation. With Prime Minister Aso, and also with President Lee, I had bilateral meetings today. We had very candid and in-depth exchanges of views on matters of common interest and bilateral relations, which enhanced our consensus and increased our mutual trust. I would like to once again say that from the long-term perspective and from the basis of strategic interest, the Chinese side attaches importance to further developing cooperation with both Japan and the ROK, and attaches importance to the friendships between the people of China and Japan, and China and the ROK. I am convinced that so long as we respect each other, treat each other as equal partners, seek common ground while put aside differences, and work together on a mutually beneficial basis, we will be able to develop a stable partnership among the three countries and thus bring greater welfare to the people of the three countries, and make even greater contributions to the development and peace of the region.
Wen also briefed the guests on the measures recently taken by China to expand domestic demand and maintain stable and rapid economic growth. Wen said that China is adopting various measures to expand domestic demand and maintain stable and rapid economic growth. This will play an important and positive role in maintaining the economic and financial stability in the region. We made timely adjustment to the macro-economic policies, implemented the proactive fiscal policy and moderately relaxed monetary policy, and resolutely issued 10 measures to stimulate domestic demand. We will invest 4 trillion yuan in the coming two years with the emphasis on housing projects for low-income urban residents, projects aiming to improve rural wellbeing, health, education, and culture. We shall strengthen infrastructure development projects in such areas as water management, railways, highways, and airports. We shall reduce CO2 emissions, and work on energy savings, ecological improvement and post-disaster construction. To implement the policy of expanding domestic demand, we have developed 9 specific tasks on financial support to economic growth, including ensuring liquidity for banks and increasing lending to SMEs. We have adopted 6 measures in support of the textile industry. We have developed rejuvenation plans for 9 sectors including energy, metallurgy, machinery and the petrochemical industry, with emphasis on technological innovation, structural adjustment and mergers and acquisitions,. We also strived to promote electrification of rural areas by providing financial subsidiaries for farmers so that they will be able to purchase home appliances and farming equipment. We shall reduce the tax payment of enterprises and residents by up to 500 billion yuan through various measures aiming to reform the tax and fee system. We shall promote healthcare reform to reduce the medical care burdens of residents. We shall increase farmers' income and improve the pay for teachers in primary and middle schools. We shall increase the basic pension of the retired. We shall also improve the system of minimum social security in urban and rural areas. By adopting these measures we believe that we will be able to contribute to expanding domestic demand, promoting economic growth and social development, and improving the welfare of the people. China is the largest export market in East Asia, and we accept about US$500 billion of goods within the region every year. We shall maintain stable and rapid economic growth, maintain robust demands for imports, and maintain our external investment capabilities. If we can do this we shall be able to provide greater opportunities for cooperation and development for countries within the region, and also provide greater job opportunities for our trade partners. That is also what we have been stressing. Thus, maintaining stable and rapid growth of the Chinese economy will make important contributions to the financial stability of the world and the region's economic growth.
Wen said that China is addressing the financial crisis hand in hand with the East Asian countries. At the ASEM meeting, the leaders of East Asian countries engaged in an in-depth exchange of views on the financial crisis. We shall promote the regional monetary and financial cooperation including the Chiang Mai Initiative (CMI multilateralization) and the Asian Bond Markets Initiative (ABMI). China, in cooperation with other countries concerned, has been working on establishing bilateral currency exchange mechanisms and further expanding the swap scale. These measures should contribute to strengthening the confidence of these countries in overcoming the crisis, allaying the difficulties faced by countries concerned to a certain extent, and regaining confidence of international investors in the region.
Wen said that China is also working on promoting the development of the real economy in the region and effectively improving the capabilities of countries to withstand risks. We are utilizing the regional cooperation mechanisms such as the East Asian cooperation mechanism and China-Japan-ROK cooperation mechanism to step up the economic and trade cooperation among the countries in the region. We shall support and help ASEAN to narrow down the development gaps. We shall accelerate the construction of infrastructure, strengthen cooperation in agriculture, and promote bilateral and multilateral FTAs so as to increase the economic vigor and the driving force of growth in the region. We believe that we shall be able to allay the shocks of the financial crisis on the real economy if we can increase the economic growth capabilities of the countries in the region.
Wen Jiabao stressed that in the face of the grave financial crisis, China is taking a responsible attitude in dealing with the current crisis. Together with East Asian countries, China will actively respond to various crises and challenges and should like to achieve mutual benefits in the process of cooperation.