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Wang Yi: Overcome Difficulties, Eliminate Disturbances, Accumulate Consensus, and Focus on Cooperation

On August 24, 2016 local time, when jointly meeting the press with Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan and Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se of the Republic of Korea (ROK) after attending the 8th Trilateral Foreign Ministers' Meeting among China, Japan and the ROK in Tokyo, Japan, Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed that China, Japan, and the ROK should overcome difficulties, eliminate disturbances, accumulate consensus, and focus on cooperation by upholding the important consensus of "facing history squarely and advancing towards the future", so as to maintain the correct direction of trilateral cooperation and realize its healthy and steady development.

Wang Yi noted that since the Trilateral Leaders' Meeting last year, practical cooperation and exchanges in various fields among the three countries have made positive progress, which deserves to be cherished by all sides. It is believed that this Foreign Ministers' Meeting will create a favorable atmosphere for the G20 Hangzhou Summit to be held at the beginning of September, and lay the groundwork for the series of Leaders' Meetings on East Asia Cooperation to be held in early September.

Wang Yi said that at the just concluded Foreign Ministers' Meeting, the three sides all agreed that, faced with new changes in regional and international situations, China, Japan and the ROK should shoulder the responsibilities of boosting East Asia economic development, guiding East Asia cooperation, and safeguarding regional peace and stability, so as to make greater contributions to Asia's overall revitalization as well as world peace and development.

Wang Yi stated that we agreed to adhere to the important consensus reached by the three countries and focus on advancing cooperation in four key areas, namely politics, economy and trade, people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and sustainable development. This "four-wheel drive" will facilitate China-Japan-ROK cooperation Firstly, the three countries should accumulate political mutual trust, properly handle sensitive issues, step up security dialogues and policy consultations, and enhance mutual understanding and trust. Secondly, the three countries should carry out practical cooperation, speed up the negotiation process on China-Japan-ROK Free Trade Area and strive for phased results at an early date. Meanwhile, the three sides should actively push negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to complete as scheduled, strengthen cooperation in areas including finance, international production capacity, and energy, and jointly move towards the set goal of forging the East Asian economic community by 2020. Thirdly, the three countries should enhance people-to-people communication, and continue to expand personnel exchanges. By taking the opportunity of hosting the Olympic Games successively, the three countries can build an East Asian Olympic circle to improve friendly relations among the peoples. Fourthly, the three countries should push forward sustainable development, well build the China-Japan-ROK Circular Economy Demonstration Base and boost cooperation in such fields as environment protection, small and medium-sized enterprises, and disaster relief. The three sides also spoke positively of the work of the trilateral cooperation secretariat and agreed to continue supporting the secretariat in playing a greater role in trilateral cooperation.

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