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Chinese Premier Calls for Joint Efforts to Keep East Asian Cooperation on Right Track
  ·  2019-11-05  ·   Source: Xinhua News Agency

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on November 4 attended the 14th East Asia Summit (EAS) in Bangkok, calling for efforts from all parties to keep East Asian cooperation on the right track.

Li said in his speech that the EAS should stick to its nature as a leaders-led strategic forum and promote political and security cooperation, social and economic development as well as strategic communication and pragmatic cooperation in a balanced way.

He said the EAS should keep the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) at the center, stay focused on East Asia and Asia Pacific, and maintain the current regional cooperative structure in order to keep the cooperation on the right track.

Li called on countries to work together to build an open world economy and firmly uphold multilateralism and free trade, so as to forge ahead economic globalization to a direction of openness, inclusiveness, balance and win-win cooperation.

The statement on sustainable partnership to be issued after the meeting is conducive to a more balanced, efficient and sustainable development in the region, Li said, adding that China is willing to enhance cooperation with ASEAN in areas including smart cities, digital economy, AI and e-commerce.

On the non-traditional security cooperation, Li said China will hold a joint anti-terror drill in China this month, and will continue to provide financial support to relevant UN bodies in holding an earthquake emergency exercise in Thailand next month.

On the South China Sea issue, Li said the first reading of the single draft negotiating text of the Code of Conduct (COC) has been completed ahead of schedule, and the second reading has been launched.

Parties concerned are striving for an agreement on the COC by the end of 2021, Li said, calling on all sides to create a favorable environment to this end.

Stressing that freedom of navigation in the South China Sea is out of question, Li said countries within the region have the ability and wisdom to finish the COC talks and safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea.

Countries out of the region, which are not the parties concerned to the South China Sea issue, should respect and support the efforts of the intraregional countries, said Li.

Participants at the meeting also included leaders from 10 ASEAN countries, South Korea, Russia, Japan, India, Australia and New Zealand, as well as senior officials from the United States.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha hosted the meeting.

The leaders agreed that all EAS parties should enhance mutual trust, expand cooperation and boost sustainable development under the new circumstances to address challenges such as climate change and terrorism.

East Asia should not be a chessboard for big-power game, the leaders said, expressing their opposition to the zero-sum game.

All parties are committed to finishing the talks on Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and welcome the progress made in the COC talks, said the leaders.

The meeting approved a statement on sustainable partnership and issued outcome documents on the fight against drug trafficking and cross-border crime.

Li also attended a luncheon on sustainable development in Bangkok on November 4.

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