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Cooperation and development will be focus of Premier’s visit

Updated: Nov 18,2015 4:05 PM

Expanding regional cooperation and promoting further development will be the key focus points of Premier Li Keqiang’s attendance at the East Asia leaders’ meetings in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from Nov 20 to 23, said officials and analysts.

The Premier will attend the 18th leaders’ meeting between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN); the 18th ASEAN-China, Japan and Republic of Korea leaders’ meeting; and the 10th East Asia Summit, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Analysts say that China will take this opportunity to expand bilateral cooperation with ASEAN, revitalize cooperation in East Asia, and boost development in this region.

Premier Li will push forward the implementation of initiatives such as a tighter China-ASEAN destiny community, the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and the 2+7 cooperation framework during the meetings with leaders of ASEAN countries, said Liu Zhenmin, vice-minister of foreign affairs.

The 2+7 cooperation framework was proposed by Premier Li during the ASEAN Summit in Brunei Darussalam in 2013. The framework, which includes two consensus and seven cooperation points, serves as a momentum for cooperation between China and ASEAN.

Liu said that China will also stress cooperation in traditional areas such as finance and grain security, and expand it in new sectors such as international production capacity, ocean, anti-poverty, energy and disaster relief and promote regional partnerships.

Development should be the focus of the East Asia Summit, and China’s goal for the summit is to help stabilize growth in East Asia against the recovery difficulties of the global economy, Liu added.

Jiang Ruiping, deputy head of China Foreign Affairs University, said China and ASEAN should maintain the current momentum of bilateral relationship and work out a further cooperation plan for the next five years.

As the ASEAN community, the first sub-regional community in Asia, is set to be built by the end of the year, cooperation between China and ASEAN could be better boosted, said Song Junying, an associate research fellow at the Asia-Pacific research department of the China Institute of International Studies.

Song also said that China-ASEAN cooperation can bring real benefits to ASEAN countries, and strategies proposed by China such as the Belt and Road Initiative and international production capacity cooperation can also provide new opportunities for the countries.