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Premier eyes further cooperation on COVID-19

Updated: Nov 14,2020 21:43

Premier Li Keqiang attended the 23rd ASEAN-China, Japan and Republic of Korea (10+3) leaders' meeting in Beijing on Nov 14 through video link.

Other attendees included leaders of 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members, Republic of Korea President Moon Jae-in, and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

Premier Li noted that since the special leaders’ meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations plus China, Japan and the Republic of Korea on COVID-19 in April, all sides have been actively implementing its consensus by strengthening cooperation on epidemic prevention and control, keeping markets open to each other, and smoothing industrial and supply chains.

As a result, great achievements have been made in epidemic prevention and control as well as economic recovery, demonstrating the important role of 10+3 as the main channel for East Asian cooperation, he added.

According to the Premier, some international agencies predict that East Asia is expected to become the only region in the world to achieve positive economic growth this year.

To further strengthen communication and coordination, he made the following suggestions:

First, nations in the region should further strengthen cooperation on the fight against COVID-19 and on public health capacity.

He added that China is willing to conduct international vaccine cooperation, promote the establishment of 10+3 emergency medical supplies reserve center, and carry out 10+3 tabletop exercises for public health emergency.

Second, the construction of the free trade zone should be accelerated to deepen regional integration and development in East Asia.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP), he said, as another important milestone in regional economic integration, will be signed. It is expected to play a positive role in boosting confidence in regional development and promoting world economic recovery.

China is willing to work with all sides to implement the agreement to benefit enterprises and people in the region as soon as possible, he added.

Third, a smooth regional supply chain and the industrial chain can enhance competitiveness of East Asia’s industrial system.

Efforts should be made to gradually build “fast-track” and “green channel” networks with effective pandemic prevention to facilitate exchanges of people and goods, and promote the establishment of an open, smooth, safe and stable regional production system.

Fourth, all nations should seize the opportunity in digital economy development to build an innovation highland in East Asia.

The Premier suggested promoting the integration of online and offline economy, adhere to market principles, and create a fair, equitable, nondiscriminatory, and predictable business environment for business cooperation.

Fifth, to realize sustainable development of East Asia, more cooperation should be made in social development and livelihood. China is willing to implement the second phase of the cooperation initiative on poverty alleviation in East Asia while reducing its own poverty.

In addition, more cooperation should be conducted to deal with the climate change and to prevent disasters. Joint efforts should be made in healthcare, environment protection, and disaster relief through the "China, Japan, ROK + X" mode.

Leaders at the meeting said ASEAN Plus Three (10+3) has made substantial progress in all sectors in the past 23 years since its establishment in the Asian financial crisis.

Facing the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19, the 10+3 nations hope to further build consensus at the meeting to enhance regional public health security to effectively cope with the epidemic.

The leaders expressed the willingness to carry out joint epidemic prevention and control, build up emergency medical supplies, and deepen cooperation in vaccine development to ensure the availability and affordability of the vaccine.

They said that nations in the region should keep their market open, maintain stability of the industrial supply chains and smooth communication of personnel and goods to promote production resumption and economic recovery for sustainable growth.

Interconnection and the docking of development strategies should be strengthened, and digital economy be made full use, they said, to share experiences and technology, enhance economic resilience, and promote regional peace, stability and prosperity.

The meeting passed the 10+3 leaders' statement on enhancing cooperation on economic resilience, and coping with new challenges.

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi also attended the meeting.