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Chinese FM highly evaluates ASEAN Plus Three, calls for overcoming challenges
2007/08/01

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi (C Front) attends the foreign ministers' meeting in the framework of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) plus China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) in Manila on July 31, 2007. (Xinhua/Gong Lei)

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Foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), ASEAN secretary-general, and foreign ministers of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) pose for a photo in Manila on July 31, 2007. (Xinhua/Gong Lei)

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    MANILA, July 31 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said here on Tuesday that the ASEAN Plus Three cooperation has become a dynamic process which is helping build the region into the world's fastest growing zone, but political mutual trust among countries in the region remains to be strengthened.

    Addressing the ASEAN Plus Three foreign ministers' meeting here, Yang praised ASEAN Plus Three cooperation as highly helpful to peace, economic development, social progress and common prosperity of the region.

    "The ASEAN Plus Three has maintained sound momentum of growth in the past decade. Multi-level dialogue and cooperation mechanisms have been established and improved, short-term and mid-to-long-term areas of cooperation have been identified and the ultimate goal of building an East Asia Community has been set," he said.

    Yang also praised the time-tested guidelines for cooperation among ASEAN Plus Three countries, which he said are "the ASEAN being in the driver's seat, building consensus, making gradual progress, taking into account the comfort level of all parties, equality, mutual benefit, mutual respect and seeking common understanding and putting aside differences."

    He said the ASEAN Plus Three cooperation, which includes the 10ASEAN members, China, Japan and South Korea but is expanding to other Asian countries and becoming a main vehicle of East Asia cooperation, is also faced with many challenges.

    "Peace and stability in the region still face threats and challenges. Economic development in our region is unbalanced, and some countries still lag behind in economic and social development," said Yang.

    He said overall competitiveness of East Asia needs to be enhanced, non-traditional security issues addressed and strength of the region as shown in its diversity be made into progress in harmonious co-existence and common development.

    Yang added that as differences in levels of development and social systems widely exist among Asian countries, countries in the region should uphold the principle of mutual respect.

    He suggested East Asian countries make more efforts in the areas of respecting each other, seeking common ground while shelving differences, strengthening unity and working in close cooperation, conducting practical cooperation for common development.

Editor: Yan Liang
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