Premier Li Keqiang speaks at the 16th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Plus Three Summit (APT) in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, Oct 10, 2013.[Photo by Liu Weibing/Xinhua]
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN -- Premier Li Keqiang on Oct 10 put forward a four-pronged proposal on further deepening cooperation within a regional framework commonly known as “10+3”.
The 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), together with China, Japan and South Korea, constitute an important pillar of East Asian cooperation, Li said at the 16th “10+3” leaders’ meeting in the Bruneian capital.
As the world economic recovery remains difficult and fragile, and the Asian economic growth is still shadowed by uncertainty, the 13 nations carry a historic mission on their shoulders, he added.
In order to boost “10+3” cooperation, the parties should first commit themselves to maintaining regional peace and stability and handling sensitive issues in the area in a proper manner, he suggested.
Premier Li urged the 13 countries to seize and take full advantage of the historic opportunities for East Asian development and jointly safeguard the peace and stability in the region.
Second, the nations should cooperate to speed up East Asian economic integration and try to conclude the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership negotiations by 2015, he said.
Third, they need to advance the construction of a regional financial safe net and promote regional financial stability and economic development, Li said, calling for joint efforts to expand cooperation under the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization mechanism and build Asia’s own monetary stabilization system, credit system, and investment and financing system.
Fourth, the 13 countries should cooperate more closely in such areas as food security and people-to-people exchanges, he said, adding that China stands ready to work with other countries to facilitate the building of various think tanks and the deepening of understanding and sympathy among the nations in the region.
Noting that the mechanism was born in the throes of the Asian financial crisis and has now weathered the storm of the international financial crisis, Li said “10+3” cooperation has played a contributive role in promoting regional economic stability and global economic growth.
Practice has demonstrated that “10+3” cooperation is the main vehicle and main theater for East Asian cooperation, he said, urging all parties concerned to join hands to keep regional cooperation on the path of healthy development.
China, he said, is ready to work closely with other parties to open a new chapter in East Asian cooperation.
Other participants in the meeting spoke highly of the achievements the “10+3” mechanism has made over the years, and agreed that further promoting regional peace, friendship and cooperation is an important safeguard for the development of all countries in the region.
Faced with a grave external economic environment, they suggested, countries in the region should bring into full play the role of the “10+3” framework as the main vehicle for East Asian cooperation and join hands to promote regional stability and prosperity.
Li arrived in Bandar SerI Begawan on Oct 9 for a series of East Asian leaders’ meetings and an official visit to Brunei. The trip, his first to Southeast Asia as premier, will also take him to Thailand and Vietnam.