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Highlights from the 10th trilateral Foreign Ministers’ meeting

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Busan, 27 November 2023 (WAI): Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi stated on Sunday that China, Japan, and South Korea should take a more active role in fostering regional and global growth in the face of accelerated changes not seen in a century and the sluggish recovery of the worldwide economy.

At the trilateral Foreign Ministers’ conference between China, Japan, and South Korea in Busan, South Korea, Wang, who is also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, was there with Japanese foreign minister Yoko Kamikawa and South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin.

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In East Asia, Wang claimed, the collaboration between China, Japan, and South Korea has become the most standardized, comprehensive, and richly symbolic multilateral framework that has effectively aided in the growth of the three nations.

China will continue to work with South Korea and Japan to put trilateral cooperation back on track, maintain sound, stable, and sustainable development, and make new contributions to regional and global peace and prosperity, Wang said. China follows the policy of forging friendship and partnerships with its neighbors.

He emphasized that maintaining good bilateral relations, handling sensitive situations appropriately, and respecting each other’s development paths and core interests are paramount to laying the groundwork for a comprehensive trilateral cooperation restart featuring consistent and long-term progress.

Wang pointed out that the three nations should continue to pursue win-win outcomes and mutual benefits; they should also expeditiously resume negotiations on a trilateral free trade agreement between China, Japan, and South Korea; sustain the momentum of regional economic integration; enhance multi-channel and multi-level regional free trade arrangements; and support the shared objective of advancing the establishment of an Asia-Pacific free trade area.

According to Wang, the three nations should foster shared and sustainable development, increase people-to-people exchanges, strengthen development resilience, and deepen scientific and technological innovation.

Park and Kamikawa expressed great satisfaction with the advancements in China, Japan, and South Korean collaboration, pointing out that the three nations are indivisible neighbors and that trilateral cooperation has enormous potential and importance.

The three nations stated that considering the current circumstances, they should revisit their initial goal of collaboration, improve their lines of communication, encourage cooperation across various industries, and provide their citizens with more observable outcomes.

According to them, the three sides can continually broaden their shared interests while engaging in meaningful collaboration in commerce, the economy, science, technology, digital transformation, people-to-people interactions, environmental protection, and aging.

All three sides decided to accelerate pertinent preparation work and set up the framework for the leaders’ summit between China, Japan, and South Korea.

The three parties discussed matters of mutual importance that were both regional and global in scope.

The minister emphasized that to strengthen regional cooperation, jointly address risks and challenges, and protect peace and prosperity throughout the Asia-Pacific region, China, Japan, and South Korea should base their actions on the people’s interests and the region’s peaceful development.

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According to him, the three nations should support open regionalism, reject ideological demarcation, and refrain from converting regional cooperation into camp politics to advance East Asia cooperation through trilateral collaboration.

In addition to putting into reality the idea of shared, all-encompassing, cooperative, and sustainable security, Wang suggested that the three nations settle their differences and disagreements amicably via discussion and consultation.

He stated that calming down the situation, establishing the prerequisites for the restart of talks, and taking significant action should be the top priorities, adding that nobody benefits from the ongoing tension on the Korean Peninsula.

Wang also met individually with Park and Kamikawa on the outer edges of the gathering.

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