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Chinese Premier hails 10+3 cooperation
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17:33, November 20, 2007

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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Tuesday praised the cooperation among the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China, Japan and South Korea, known as the "10+3" countries, over the last decade.

"10+3 cooperation, which started 10 years ago when Asia was still in the grip of the financial crisis, inaugurated the process of working together for common development." Wen said in a speech at the 11th ASEAN Plus Three Summit.

Over the past decade, guided by the first Joint Statement on East Asian Cooperation, the 10+3 countries have established bilateral good-neighborly partnerships, maintained close contacts and enhanced mutual understanding and trust, he said.

More than 50 dialogue mechanisms and about 100 cooperation projects within the 10+3 framework have enhanced interdependence among countries in East Asia and promoted prosperity in this region, he said.

"Fostering a model of cooperation of equal participation, gradualism, seeking common ground while putting aside differences, building consensus and achieving common development, 10+3 has set a good example of promoting cooperation in Asia under new historical circumstances," Wen said.

Noting the rapid economic growth in East Asia, Wen said that the annual GDP growth for its emerging economies has exceeded 9 percent and the East Asian economy and trade respectively accounted for 40 percent and 20 percent of the world's total in 2005.

"East Asia has increased its overall competitiveness ... and raised its international status," said the Chinese premier.

He welcomed the second Joint Statement on East Asia Cooperation and the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Work Plan 2007-2017 to be adopted at the current summit.

They have set "the goal of ensuring peace, stability and prosperity for East Asia" and "charted the course for future development of 10+3 cooperation," he said.

Wen arrived here on Sunday for an official visit to Singapore. During his stay here, he is also scheduled to attend the 11th ASEAN plus Three summit, the 11th China-ASEAN summit, the third East Asia summit and the eighth annual meeting of the leaders of China, Japan and South Korea.


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