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Premier Wen attends ASEAN plus three summit, makes 5-point proposal
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21:26, November 20, 2007

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· Premier visits Singapore, attends the high-level East Asian meetings
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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao attended the 11th ASEAN plus Three Summit in Singapore on Tuesday, and made a five-point proposal on strengthening and deepening cooperation among the 10 ASEAN states and China, Japan and South Korea.

"2007 marks the 10th anniversary of the ASEAN plus Three (China, Japan and South Korea) mechanism. Over the past decade, more than 50 dialogue mechanisms and about 100 cooperation projects within the 10+3 framework have been launched, which enhanced the cohesive force among countries in East Asia and promoted prosperity in this region," Wen said in a speech at the summit.

"Fostering a model of cooperation based on equal participation and a step-by-step approach, and by seeking common ground while putting aside differences, building consensus and achieving common development, the 10+3 mechanism has set a good example of promoting cooperation in Asia under new historical circumstances," he added.

"The 10+3 mechanism has entered a new stage currently, facing new opportunities and challenges," the premier said, adding that the attending countries have "set the goal of ensuring peace, stability and prosperity for East Asia" and "charted the course for future development of 10+3 cooperation."

Premier Wen further put forward a five-point proposal on strengthening and deepening cooperation among 13 countries, namely,

-- to respect each other and treat each other as equals to ensure that all countries live in harmony;

-- to uphold common interests and promote common development and prosperity;

-- to take a coordinated approach and achieve comprehensive and balanced economic and social development in East Asia;

-- to respect the realities in East Asia and to explore and develop models and ways of cooperation that are compatible with the diversity of the region;

-- to be open and inclusive so as to achieve the long-term goal of an East Asian community by drawing on each country's strength.

The premier also renewed China's promise to build friendship and partnerships with its neighbors and actively participate in regional cooperation.

"China strives to develop a peaceful, harmonious and prosperous Asia, together with all the other states in the mechanism," Wen stressed.

Other leaders said that against the backdrop of globalization, all the countries in the region not only face good opportunities for development, but also meet common problems and challenges.

They said, "Strengthening 10+3 cooperation is the general trend and common desire of all the countries. We should continue to support and promote the integration process of ASEAN and to move toward the goal of ASEAN community through ASEAN Plus Three as the major channel."

Therefore, guided by the second Joint Statement on East Asia Cooperation, "we should enhance political and security cooperation, deepen economic and financial cooperation, promote the cooperation in the fields of energy, environment, climate change and sustainable development, expand social, cultural and development cooperation, and promote common and coordinated development of East Asian Nations by establishing ASEAN Plus Three cooperation funds," they said.

The second Joint Statement on East Asia Cooperation and the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Work Plan 2007-2017 were adopted at the ongoing summit.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) plus Three mechanism was established in the late 1990s, when ASEAN countries decided to enhance cooperation with other major economies of Asia.

The framework, initially focusing on economic cooperation, has expanded in recent years to sectors of politics, security, culture and other areas.

Leaders from China, Japan, South Korea and the 10 ASEAN countries meet annually to discuss cooperation and major international and regional issues.

Founded in 1967, ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Source:Xinhua



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