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Premier begins ROK visit

Premier Li Keqiang has arrived in Seoul, for an official three-day visit to South Korea. This is his first official visit to the country since he took office as premier.

The Premier will also attend the sixth China-Japan-ROK Summit on Nov 1, and will be joined by South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. It is the first leaders’ meeting of the top three economies in East Asia since 2012, after a three-year hiatus.

Background

As a crucial and integral part of East Asian cooperation, the trilateral mechanism was initiated in 1999 as a derivative of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations plus China, Japan and South Korea platform, with annual leaders’ meetings launched in 2008 outside the 10-plus-3 framework.

It had grown into a fully-fledged institution, featuring multi-dimensional, multi-tiered and wide-ranging cooperation before relations took a nosedive in 2012, due to a string of Japanese moves on historical and territorial issues that angered its partners.

However, the summit is now back on, and this year it’s set to discuss international production capacity cooperation, technological innovation, the alignment of development initiatives, free trade talks and regional economic integration, among other topics.

The three sides will have an in-depth exchange of views, reach extensive agreements, and push forward their cooperation to higher levels, broader areas, larger scales and a more diversified and optimized structure.