Li urges trade alliance with ROK, Japan Premier meets with foreign ministers, says trilateral ties propel economy
Premier Li Keqiang urged trilateral efforts on Thursday to reach a comprehensive and high-level free trade agreement among China, the Republic of Korea and Japan at an early date.
Li spoke during a Beijing meeting on Thursday with ROK Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, following the three countries' ninth foreign ministers' meeting on Wednesday.
Li said that trilateral cooperation has made great progress in the past two decades since the mechanism was established. The importance and necessity of this cooperation should be further highlighted, he said, given its role as an economic "stabilizer" and "propeller" for the region and world.
China, the ROK and Japan should safeguard the rules-based multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organization at its core and reach an early free trade agreement to promote trade liberalization and investment facilitation, he said.
China highly values China-ROK-Japan cooperation and is willing to work together with the ROK and Japan to move trilateral cooperation to a higher level, Li said.
The premier said the three countries are close neighbors with cultural affinities and complementary economies, and there is huge potential for cooperation.
Facing rising factors contributing to instability and uncertainty in the global economy and the increasing downward pressure on international trade, strengthening trilateral cooperation will not only benefit the development of individual countries but also contribute to the region and world.
Li also called on the three countries to jointly promote scientific and technological innovation, share development opportunities and innovation achievements and promote common prosperity and cooperation in East Asia.
On the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, Li said China, the ROK and Japan should work together to safeguard the region's peace and stability and make positive contributions to a political resolution of the issue, denuclearization on the peninsula and lasting peace in the region.
Both Kang and Kono spoke positively of the results of the foreign ministers' meeting and expressed expectations for the success of the China-ROK-Japan leaders' meeting to be held before year's end.
Kang said the ROK-China relationship is developing with good momentum and her country is fully confident of their future cooperation.
Kono said his country is willing to work with China and push forward the long-term, healthy and stable development of Sino-Japanese relations.