Foreign Ministry Officials Brief on Premier Wen Jiabao's Visit to Laos and Attending of the Leadership Meeting between ASEAN and China, Japan and Korea, the Leadership Meeting between ASEAN and China and the Meeting of Leaders of China, Japan and Korea
On the morning of November 24, 2004, Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei held a briefing for the journalists from home and abroad and press officers of foreign embassies in China at the invitation of International Press Center (IPC), introducing to them Premier Wen Jiabao's upcoming visit to Laos and attending of the 8th Leadership Meeting between ASEAN and China, Japan and Korea (10+3), the Leadership Meeting between ASEAN and China (10+1) and the 6th Meeting of Leaders of China, Japan and Korea. Deputy Director-General of the Information Department Zhang Qiyue chaired the briefing.
Wu Dawei said that the upcoming visit of Premier Wen is an important diplomatic event of China with its neighboring countries. The Chinese side will pay the visit and attend the meetings in the spirit of consolidating friendship, enhancing trust and deepening cooperation in a bid to strengthen the all-round cooperation and traditional friendship between China and Laos, promote the China-ASEAN strategic partnership and push forward the ASEAN-China, Japan and Korea cooperation and the cooperation among China, Japan and Korea.
With regard to the upcoming visit of Premier Wen Jiabao to Laos, Wu Dawei said that in recent years China-Laos relations show a sound momentum of development. Our two countries are good neighbors, good friends and good partners. The political mutual trust between the two countries keeps increasing and economic and trade cooperation and exchanges in all fields are moving ahead steadily. During his visit to Laos, Premier Wen will review and summarize the good-neighborly friendship between the two countries with leaders of Laos and exchange in-depth views with them on how to promote the bilateral cooperation in various fields and enhance the economic and trade cooperation and exchanges in other areas. During his visit, Premier Wen will hold talks with Lao Prime Minister Bounnhang Vorachith and meet with Khamtay Siphandone, President of the Lao People's Democratic Republic and President of People's Revolutionary Party of Laos and Lao National Assembly President Samane Vignaket. Both sides will also sign an agreement on the economic and technological cooperation between the two countries and some other economic and trade cooperation documents.
Talking about the Leadership Meeting between ASEAN and China, Japan and Korea (10+3), Wu Dawei said that the 10+3 cooperation can be dated back to 1990 when Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad raised the concept of East Asian Economic Grouping (EAEG) (later renamed as East Asia Economic Caucus (EAEC)). In December 1997, the first Unofficial Leadership Meeting between ASEAN and China, Japan and Korea (10+3) was held in Kuala Lumpur, which marks the launch of the 10+3 cooperation process. Currently 46 dialogue mechanisms at different levels have been established in 16 fields, including 12 ministerial cooperation mechanisms. Under the 10+3 framework there are 91 cooperation projects of which 40 have basically completed. The Chinese leaders have attended all the sessions of the 10+3 Leadership Meeting.
Wu Dawei noted that the theme of this year is "Strengthening 10+3 Cooperation". China will positively comment the progresses made by 10+3 cooperation, elaborate China's basic proposals on strengthening 10+3 cooperation. Premier Wen will deliver an important speech at the meeting and raise a number of specific cooperation suggestions.
Wu Dawei pointed out that the development direction of 10+3 cooperation is also one of the major subjects of the meeting. The development over the past years has laid down a solid foundation for the cooperation. All parties concerned agree that the establishment of East Asian Community should be set as the long-term objective of 10+3 cooperation and that it will be a long and step-by-step process. China supports the discussions on issues concerning East Asian Community and East Asia Summit, the continuous leading role of ASEAN during this process and the development of the ASEAN Community.
Concerning the Leadership Meeting between China and ASEAN (10+1), Wu Dawei said that the 10+1 process started in 1991. In 1996 China became the full dialogue partner of ASEAN and in 1997 both sides declared the establishment of the good-neighborly partnership of mutual trust. In 2002, the two sides decided to build the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area within 10 years and in 2003 established the strategic partnership. Up to now, both sides have established 6 ministerial cooperation mechanisms covering foreign affairs, economy, transportation, customs, attorney-general and youth affairs.
The theme of this year's meeting is "Deepening China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership". The leaders of both sides will exchange in-depth views on it, and China will positively comment the new achievements of bilateral cooperation in the past year and raise specific suggestions on stimulating China-ASEAN cooperation, such as strengthening the energy resources cooperation and youth exchanges.
The meeting will issue the Action Plan to Implement the Joint Declaration on China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity to draw a blueprint for the China-ASEAN cooperation in the next five years. During the meeting, China and ASEAN will also sign the Agreement on Trade in Goods under the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation between China and ASEAN, the Agreement on China-ASEAN Dispute Settlement Mechanism and the MOU on Transportation Cooperation between China and ASEAN.
Talking about the Meeting of Leaders of China, Japan and Korea, Wu Dawei said that the meeting can be dated back in November 1999. In 2003 the leaders of the three countries issued the Joint Declaration on the Promotion of Tripartite Cooperation among China, Japan and Korea. At present the three parties have set up 7 ministerial meeting mechanisms covering foreign affairs, economy, finance, etc.
This year the meeting will be chaired by Japan, and the three countries will exchange opinions on the cooperation among China, Japan and Korea, cooperation in East Asia and international and regional situations. The leaders of the three countries will issue the Strategy for Actions on the Cooperation among China, Japan and Korea, define the guiding principles for their specific cooperation in various fields and adopt the Report on the Cooperation Progress among China, Japan and Korea.
Wu Dawei said that China, Japan and Korea share wide common consensus and common interest in promoting cooperation in East Asia and maintain close cooperation under the frameworks of 10+3 and China, Japan and Korea. China is willing to work with Japan and Korea to strengthen exchanges and coordination in regional policies and promote the stability and development of the region.
Following the briefing, Vice Minister Wu Dawei took questions from the journalists.