Published: 11:42, May 24, 2024
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Li to meet with Japan, ROK leaders in Seoul
By Cao Desheng

Event expected to renew dialogue, give fresh impetus to trilateral cooperation

China, Japan and the Republic of Korea will hold their first trilateral summit meeting in more than four years from Sunday to Monday, with the hope that they will renew the trilateral dialogue to promote stability and prevent economic and security friction among the East Asian nations.

Premier Li Qiang will attend the ninth Trilateral Summit Meeting in Seoul with ROK President Yoon Suk-yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

The Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that amid complex changes in international and regional situations, China hopes the meeting will inject fresh impetus into trilateral cooperation to achieve more mutually beneficial and win-win results.

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Speaking at a regular news briefing, ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin noted that China, Japan and the ROK are neighbors as well as major economies in Asia and the world.

In the 25 years since they initiated trilateral cooperation to jointly tackle the Asian financial crisis, the three countries have gradually established a cooperation mechanism with the trilateral summit at the center, and with support from ministerial-level meetings, senior officials' meetings and more than 70 working mechanisms, Wang said.

Li will attend important events, including the China-Japan-ROK Business Summit, together with leaders from Japan and the ROK, and exchange views with them on trilateral cooperation, Wang added.

China is willing to work with Japan and the ROK to implement the consensus of the China-Japan-ROK Cooperation Vision for the Next Decade, deepen cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, science and technology and culture, and promote regional economic integration in East Asia, contributing to the peace, stability and prosperity of the region and the world, Wang said.

Regarding a question about plans for Li's separate bilateral meetings with the two other leaders, the spokesman said that "we are currently in communication with the relevant parties on this matter".

The ROK currently holds the rotating chairmanship of the trilateral cooperation mechanism. This meeting marks the first trilateral summit among the Asian countries since December 2019, after a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic and strained Seoul-Tokyo relations over historical disputes.

The summit will cover six areas of cooperation — economy and trade, sustainable development, health issues, science and technology, disaster and safety management, and people-to-people exchanges, according to a Yonhap News Agency report on Thursday that quoted the ROK's Principal Deputy National Security Adviser Kim Tae-hyo.

"The summit will serve as a turning point for fully restoring and normalizing the trilateral cooperation system among the ROK, Japan and China," Kim said. "It will also provide an opportunity to recover future-oriented and practical cooperation momentum, which will allow the people of the three countries to feel the benefits."

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The leaders will also discuss regional and international issues and interact with about 80 businesspeople at a welcoming dinner on Sunday and a business forum on Monday, according to Kim.

The eighth trilateral summit meeting in 2019 unveiled the China-Japan-ROK Cooperation Vision for the Next Decade, drawing up a strategic plan to deepen cooperation among the three countries.

However, observers said, in view of the global economic slowdown and intensifying geopolitical and economic friction in the region, difficulties and challenges still lie ahead for the three countries in economic and trade cooperation.