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Wang Yi: Three Sets of Relationships Should be Properly Addressed to Advance EAEC Construction

On July 26, 2016 local time, when attending the ASEAN plus China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) or the "10+3" Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Vientiane of Laos, Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed that we should focus on properly coping with three sets of relationships when advancing the construction of the East Asian Economic Community (EAEC).

Firstly, we should properly handle the relationship between the "10+3" and other regional cooperative mechanisms. As early as in 2004, we decided to set the "10+3" mechanism a major channel for East Asian cooperation. All sides should continue adhering to the main channel status of the "10+3", constantly pay more attention to and increase inputs in it, and unswervingly deepen practical cooperation in all fields. At the same time, the "10+3" and many other mechanisms can coexist and make progress together, which is an important feature of East Asian cooperation and conforms to the actual needs of regional diversity. Each mechanism can highlight its features, coordinate and develop with each other, and jointly make positive contributions to regional integration.

Secondly, we should properly cope with the relationship between the "10" and the "3", namely between ASEAN countries and China, Japan and the ROK. The ASEAN is the center of East Asian regional cooperation. The "10+3" cooperation should always be led by the ASEAN and support the construction of the ASEAN Community. In the meantime, strengthening cooperation among China, Japan and the ROK, as important cooperative partners of the ASEAN, is an irreplaceable pillar of East Asian cooperation. China, Japan and the ROK should maintain the momentum of trilateral cooperation while enhancing their support towards the construction of the ASEAN Community, and jointly helping the ASEAN further narrow its internal development gap.

Thirdly, we should properly deal with the relationship between traditional advantageous areas and new areas. To tackle the financial crisis and food safety threats faced by regional countries, East Asian cooperation in finance and agriculture were firstly conducted and have achieved prominent results. These are the advantages of "10+3" which should be promoted on a priority basis and deepened continuously. At present, the "10+3" cooperation is entering the plateau phase with few "ripe fruits" left. We should jointly increase inputs in such fields as small and medium-sized enterprises, infrastructure construction and international production capacity cooperation so as to inject new impetus into the "10+3" cooperation and boost the comprehensive and balanced development of practical cooperation in all areas.

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