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Source: China State Council Information Office

The upcoming East Asian leaders’ meetings on cooperation should send important signals of boosting confidence and unity, deepening anti-epidemic cooperation, focusing on economic development and properly handling disagreements, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui said Wednesday.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will attend the 23rd China-ASEAN (10+1) leaders’ meeting, the 23rd ASEAN-China, Japan and Republic of Korea (10+3) leaders’ meeting, the 15th East Asia Summit, the fourth Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) leaders’ meeting and the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit via video links from Nov. 12 to 15.
Stressing the special significance of this series of meetings at this moment, Luo said at a press briefing that all relevant countries should further deepen public health cooperation, and China is willing to build a network of “fast tracks” and “green lanes” for personnel and goods exchanges with regional countries to help the resumption of work and production, as well as economic recovery.
Luo said all parties should firmly support multilateralism, adhere to the central position of ASEAN, abide by the principle of negotiation, take care of the comfort of each others, refrain from leading bilateral disagreements into multilateral framework, and work together to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.
In terms of 10+1 cooperation, Luo China and ASEAN had offered solid support to each other in the face of the epidemic, and both sides have been focusing on vaccine cooperation at present.
China-ASEAN trade volume increase by 5 percent year on year in the first three quarters of this year, reaching 481.81 billion U.S. dollars. China’s investment in ASEAN increased by 76.6 percent year on year, and both sides have historically become each others’ largest trading partner.
The political consensus between China and ASEAN continues to accumulate as both sides have firm political will on the issue of maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea, Luo said, adding that consultations on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea have continued to advance despite the impact of the epidemic.
“Both sides have a high degree of consensus on supporting multilateralism and free trade, and both pay more attention to non-traditional security, especially public health security cooperation,” Luo said.
China will propose nearly 20 cooperation initiatives and pragmatic measures on restoring economic growth at this 10+1 leaders’ meeting, deepening anti-epidemic cooperation, and promoting the quality and upgrading of China-ASEAN relations, so as to build a closer China-ASEAN community with a shared future, according to Luo.
Noting that 10+3 is the main channel for East Asian cooperation, Luo said China is willing to work with all parties under the 10+3 framework to maintain the open and smooth regional industrial chain and supply chain, promote East Asia to lead the global anti-epidemic cooperation, and boost the global and regional economic recovery and sustainable development.
China is willing to work with all parties to have an in-depth exchange of views on the future development of the East Asia Summit, and looks forward to signing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) as scheduled during the series of meetings, which will fully demonstrate the positive willingness of regional countries to support multilateralism and free trade, and to further deepen economic and trade ties, Luo said.
Luo said China will also put forward a series of important propositions on strengthening trade and investment cooperation, developing regional industrial chain and supply chain cooperation, and deepening regional economic integration at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit.
“The China-ASEAN Free Trade Area has achieved remarkable results in the past 10 years since its establishment,” said Assistant Minister of Commerce Li Chenggang, adding that both sides will continue to deepen the construction of the area and better benefit the enterprises and people of both sides in the next 10 years.
During the meeting, Premier Li Keqiang will exchange in-depth views with leaders of participating countries on deepening mutually beneficial economic and trade cooperation, mitigating the impact of the epidemic, maintaining the stability of the industrial chain and supply chain, and promoting regional economic recovery and sustainable development, said the assistant minister.
“Up to now, RCEP negotiations in all areas have been fully completed, and the legal review of all texts has also been completed. All parties are actively negotiating to sign an agreement during this summit,” he said. 

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