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Chinese Premier calls for closer "pragmatic" cooperation among China, Japan, ROK


08:09, May 14, 2012

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (C), President of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Lee Myung-bak (L) and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda (R) shake hands during the fifth meeting of the leaders of China, Japan and the ROK at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, May 13, 2012. The meeting kicked off in Beijing on Sunday morning. (Xinhua/Zhang Duo)

BEIJING, May 13 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Sunday called for closer "pragmatic" cooperation between China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) as the three nations' leaders met in Beijing.

"(The three nations should) quicken the establishment of a China-Japan-ROK free trade area (FTA)," Wen said, according to a news release issued by the Chinese side after the Fifth Trilateral Summit Meeting. The meeting was also attended by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and ROK President Lee Myung-bak.

During the meeting, the three leaders agreed to launch trilateral FTA talks this year.

Establishing the FTA at an early date will inject strong momentum into East Asian economic integration, Wen said.

During the meeting, the leaders witnessed the signing of a deal to promote, facilitate and protect investment among the three nations.

Wen said the three sides should take advantage of the signing of the deal to spur economic integration among the nations.

The Chinese premier said the three sides should also expand their trade settlements in local currencies to boost financial cooperation in East Asia.

During the meeting, Wen also called for enhanced cooperation on environmental protection and the recycling economy, among other areas, to realize sustainable development in the region.

"The three sides should continue making efforts to deepen mutual understanding among the people of the nations and improve people-to-people sentiments," said the Chinese leader.


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