CHINA Li calls on Asian countries to strengthen cooperation


Li calls on Asian countries to strengthen cooperation

China Daily

07:27, November 14, 2022

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang poses for a group photo with leaders attending the ASEAN, China, Japan and South Korea (ASEAN Plus Three or APT) Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Nov 12, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Beijing on Sunday after concluding a six-day trip to Cambodia in which China and other regional countries agreed to closely unite and strengthen cooperation to jointly address global challenges, aiming to build an East Asian community.

After paying an official visit to Cambodia, which chairs the Association of Southeast Asian Nations this year, Li attended a series of meetings in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh including Sunday's 17th East Asia Summit.

Speaking at the summit, Li said that given stronger calls for peace and development, countries in the region should deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and join hands to deal with risks and challenges.

He said that efforts should be made to promote dialogue and consultations among regional countries to enhance mutual trust and appropriately deal with differences. Decoupling, or even confrontation, should not be allowed, he added.

The premier stressed that China firmly pursues the path of peaceful development and steadfastly adheres to an opening-up strategy featuring mutual benefit and win-win results.

The summit was also attended by leaders and representatives from ASEAN, the United States, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, Singapore, Russia and India.

Participants agreed that regional countries should carry out dialogue and cooperation, practice open and inclusive multilateralism, and safeguard common interests to build a peaceful, harmonious and prosperous East Asia.

When attending the 25th ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Summit on Saturday, Li said that at a time when global development faces unprecedented challenges such as rising unilateralism and protectionism, ASEAN and the three East Asian countries — China, Japan and the ROK — need to stay committed to promoting peace and prosperity in the region and beyond.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the launch of ASEAN Plus Three cooperation.

Li said that the progress of this cooperation over the past 25 years has not only boosted the countries' respective national development, but also contributed to regional financial and food security as well as the stability and smooth operation of international industrial and supply chains.

Over the past decade, the Chinese side initiated more than 130 cooperative proposals or projects under the ASEAN Plus Three cooperation framework and most of them had been implemented.

The premier added that China will present greater development opportunities to the world and inject new impetus into ASEAN Plus Three cooperation through its high-quality development and high-level opening-up.

Noting that the Chinese economy has become an integral part of the world economy, Li said there is no reason for China to stop opening-up and that the door will only open wider.

Participating leaders said ASEAN Plus Three is a key element of regional cooperation and called for implementing well the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership which entered into force at the beginning of this year.

Daryl Guppy, an international financial technical analysis expert, said that the theme of Cambodia's 2022 ASEAN chairpersonship is "ASEAN ACT: Addressing Challenges Together", and this statement of cooperation is a rejection of those who seek to divide the region into opposing camps.

"The practical application of this cooperative approach is also seen in the framework provided by the RCEP agreement which unites the region in the world's largest trade agreement. This encourages the sharing of new joint ASEAN and RCEP opportunities," he wrote in an article published on the website of China Global Television Network.

The premier also had separate conversations on the sidelines of the APT leaders' meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, ROK President Yoon Suk-yeol and Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos.

Li also held bilateral talks with International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and Lao Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh on Saturday, and met with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday.

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