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Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said here Wednesday that practical cooperation between ASEAN members and China, Japan and South Korea should be promoted steadily so as to safeguard regional peace and stability.
Li made the remarks while attending a summit of ASEAN and the three countries (ASEAN+3).
In view of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the ASEAN+3 mechanism next year, Li made a six-pronged proposal on the mechanism's development to consolidate its role as the main channel of regional integration.
Relevant countries should strengthen financial security cooperation, deepen trade and investment cooperation, promote cooperation in agriculture and poverty reduction, advance interconnectivity, innovate production capacity cooperation and increase people-to-people exchanges, Li said.
As for financial security cooperation, Li said that countries should learn a lesson from financial crises.
As to trade and investment cooperation, Li said China supports ASEAN's leading role in negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and hopes negotiations could be accelerated to promote free trade and trade facilitation.
With regard to agricultural cooperation and poverty reduction, the premier said China supports the strengthening of an emergency rice storage mechanism. He proposed to build a modern agricultural cooperation base and an East Asian animal husbandry exchange platform.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang attends the 19th summit between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of China-ASEAN Dialogue Relations, in Vientiane, Laos, Sept. 7, 2016. Photo: Xinhua
Concerning interconnectivity cooperation, Li called for more alignment between the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative with ASEAN's general guideline 2025 on interconnectivity, adding that China is willing to deepen project cooperation with ASEAN countries with the assistance of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and other financing tools.
Relating to innovating production capacity cooperation, Li said China, Japan and South Korea have their respective advantages in equipment manufacturing, infrastructure construction, capital and human resources, which could be used in cooperating with ASEAN countries.
China is also willing to work with Japan and South Korea to offer assistance to ASEAN nations in logistics and construction of supply chain to promote economic integration in East Asia, he noted.
About people-to-people exchanges, Li said that China encourages its people to travel in ASEAN countries, calling for joint efforts to tackle the problem of aging.
Asia's prosperity and development cannot do without regional peace and stability, Li said, calling for cherishing the current "generally stable" security situation in Asia.
China advocates common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable Asian security, proposing to construct a security framework that benefits all sides so as to reduce repulsion, avoid confrontation and properly handle various sensitive issues to open a way of safe development that conforms to regional reality, the premier said.
China is willing to join all parties to strengthen cooperation within the framework of ASEAN+3 in order for the region to become a new engine for regional economic development and make more contributions to world peace, Li said.
On the issue of the Korean Peninsula, Li said China, as a close neighbor, adheres to the target of denuclearization of the peninsula and the efforts of safeguard the peninsula and the region's peace and stability.
China will continue to solve problems through dialogue and consultation, oppose any acts that create tension in the peninsula and the region, and support all efforts that help ease tension and resume dialogue, the premier said.
The ASEAN+3 framework began when Asian nations jointly combated the 1997 financial crisis. After almost 20 years and having withstood the test of the financial crisis, ASEAN+3 has become one of the most complete and fruitful cooperation mechanisms in Asia, bringing tangible benefits to regional residents and promoting East Asia to become a key engine for global economic recovery and growth, he said.
At the meeting, leaders discussed cooperation between ASEAN and the three countries. Li said China's development has benefited from the stability in East Asia, and its development also brings new opportunities for other countries in the region.
The Chinese premier is in Vientiane for a China-ASEAN leaders' meeting, an ASEAN+3 leaders' meeting, and an East Asia Summit. During his stay, Li will also pay an official visit to Laos.