Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi presented four proposals on promoting East Asia cooperation at the ASEAN Plus Three (10+3) foreign ministers’ meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Thursday.
Wang said that over the past 25 years, cooperation among the ten nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), China, Japan and South Korea has deepened and achieved many important results.
The countries have established the goal of building an East Asian community and improved their cooperation framework, built the world’s largest free trade area in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and promoted the integration of East Asia’s industrial and supply chains and interests, he said.
They have also strengthened crisis response capabilities, made landmark achievements such as the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization and established a regional cooperation architecture with ASEAN at the center, Wang said.
Amid unprecedented challenges and opportunities from rapid changes in the international landscape and speedy advancements in technology and industrial development, the 10+3 cooperation is now at a critical period to build on the past and look ahead to the future, he said.
The minister said China stands ready to work with regional countries to achieve new progress in East Asian cooperation.
To this end, Wang put forward four proposals.
First, planning a blueprint for East Asia’s long-term development. China supports adopting a new five-year work plan for the 10+3 cooperation to provide all-round guidance for and add new impetus to future cooperation.
China also supports exploring the mutual reinforcement and common development of the 10+3 cooperation, the cooperation among China, Japan and South Korea, and the three 10+1 cooperation.
Second, promoting regional economic integration. The Chinese side is willing to set up a special donation for the RCEP economic and technical cooperation under the framework of the ASEAN-China Cooperation Fund to help ASEAN countries enhance their ability to better implement the pact.
China is also willing to work with relevant countries to push forward the integrative development of regional industrial and supply chains and supports the establishment of a 10+3 immigration and consular consultation mechanism as well as increasing direct flights between China and other 10+3 countries in an orderly manner.
Third, elevating crisis management capabilities. The Chinese side supports the construction of a 10+3 emergency medical supplies reserve center and the establishment of a disaster management ministerial-level meeting mechanism and will provide the list of medical supplies as early as possible.
China will also increase funding support for the 10+3 emergency rice reserve mechanism to boost regional food supply capacity and better ensure food security.
Fourth, guiding regional transformation and development. Wang called for expanding exchanges and cooperation in digital infrastructure, e-commerce, digital logistics and smart cities to facilitate regional digital transformation, and accelerating green development in the region with efforts towards a 10+3 low-carbon partnership, and strengthening cooperation in poverty alleviation to narrow development gaps in the region.
At the meeting, all parties fully recognized the significant role of 10+3 cooperation in regional countries’ success in combating COVID-19 and recovering economies. They agreed to speed up regional economic integration, fully implement the RCEP, help countries increase economic resilience, ensure the smooth operation of industrial and supply chains, and jointly meet food and energy security challenges.
All parties agreed to deepen cooperation in sectors including public health, digital economy and green development, make efforts to achieve low-carbon and sustainable development, and make the 10+3 cooperation better benefit the people of regional countries.