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Li Keqiang Attends the 23rd ASEAN Plus China, Japan and ROK Summit

On the afternoon of November 14, 2020, Premier Li Keqiang attended the 23rd ASEAN Plus China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) (ASEAN Plus Three, or APT) Summit at the Great Hall of the People. The leaders of 10 ASEAN countries, as well as ROK President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga were present. Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc chaired the meeting, which was held by video link.

Li Keqiang said in his speech, since a Special APT Summit on COVID-19 held in April, all parties have actively implemented its outcomes, worked together to tackle the challenges brought by the pandemic, mutually opened the markets, stabilized industrial and supply chains, and effectively advanced regional pandemic prevention and control as well as economic recovery, indicating the important role of APT as the main channel for East Asian cooperation. Relevant international agencies predicted that East Asia may become the only region in the world to achieve positive economic growth this year.

Li Keqiang pointed out, the APT is a vital force for the economic development of the East Asia region. We need to enhance communication and coordination, make APT cooperation more resilient and vibrant, and boost the economic recovery of the region. China makes the following proposals:

First, we need to work more closely on COVID-19 response and strengthen public health capacity building. China stands ready to work with other parties for advancing international vaccine cooperation, setting up an APT Reserve of Medical Supplies for Public Health Emergencies, and hosting the APT Tabletop Exercises for Public Health Emergencies.

Second, we need to accelerate the construction of FTAs and deepen the integrated development of East Asia. The relevant parties will officially sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which will be another milestone in regional economic integration and play a positive role in shoring up confidence in regional development and boosting world economic recovery. China will work with all parties to ensure sound implementation of the RCEP and enable businesses and people of the region to benefit as early as possible from this successful outcome.

Third, we need to facilitate the smooth functioning of the industrial and supply chains of the region and make East Asia's industrial system more competitive. With effective containment measures in place, a regional network of "fast tracks" and "green lanes" should be established in a phased manner to facilitate the flow of people and goods and spur the establishment of an open, smooth, safe and stable regional production system.

Fourth, we need to seize the opportunity of the digital economy and make East Asia the land of innovation. The integrated growth of "online economy" and "offline economy" should be pursued in line with the development trend. Following the market principles, a fair, equitable, non-discriminatory and predictable business environment should be created for business cooperation.

Fifth, we need to focus on cooperation in social and livelihood areas to realize the sustainable development in East Asia. While relieving its poverty, China will implement the projects under East Asian Cooperation Initiative on Poverty Reduction (phase II), to realize balanced development in the region. We need to enhance cooperation on addressing climate change and disaster prevention. We need also to carry out more cooperation programs on health, environmental protection and disaster relief under the "China-Japan-ROK Plus X" model.

Leaders participating in the meeting said, APT cooperation was initiated in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis, and it has made considerable progress in cooperation in various fields over the past 23 years. In face of the unprecedented pandemic challenges, the APT countries held a Special APT Summit and effectively coped with the impact of the pandemic in unity. They hoped the meeting would further build consensus, improve the level of public health and security in the region, carry out joint prevention and control, advance the establishment of APT Reserve of Medical Supplies for Public Health Emergencies, and deepen cooperation on vaccine and drug research and development to ensure the accessibility and affordability of vaccine. APT countries should keep the markets open, ensure the stability of industrial and supply chains and the flow of the people and goods, promote work and production resumption and economic recovery, safeguard food security and achieve sustainable development. They should also strengthen connectivity and the coordination of development strategies, make full use of the opportunities of the digital economy, share experiences and technologies, beef up the resilience of economic development, and promote regional peace, stability, development and prosperity

The meeting endorsed the ASEAN+3 Leaders' Statement on Enhancing ASEAN+3 Cooperation to Promote Economic and Financial Resilience in the Emerging Challenges.

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the meeting.

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