Keynote Speech at the Opening Ceremony of 15th East Asia Forum
H.E. Mr. Liu Zhenmin, Vice Foreign Minister of China
Changsha, June 30, 2017
Your Excellency Mr. Du Jiahao, Secretary of Hunan Provincial Committee of the CPC,
Dear colleagues from 10+3 countries and ASEAN Secretariat,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It’s my great pleasure to join you in Changsha, a Cultural City of East Asia, for the 15th East Asia Forum.
On behalf of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, I warmly welcome all colleagues and friends from East Asian countries. I would also like to thank China Foreign Affairs University and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade for your good job in putting this Forum together.
Hunan is a cradle of the Chinese culture. It’s famous for its rich cultural heritage and talented people. The ancient Chu Kingdom, of which Hunan was a part, had a reputation for nurturing top-level Chinese scholars. Today, Hunan is known for its broad vision and pioneering spirit. It has played a leading role in the rise of Central China and been an important window for cooperation between China and other East Asian countries. I wish to thank Hunan and Changsha for their hard work for this Forum.
East Asia Forum is the only platform for exchanges among government, business and academia under the ASEAN Plus Three (10+3) framework. Since its launch 15 years ago, the forum has become an important platform for strengthening communication, building consensus, enhancing mutual trust and deepening cooperation, and promoted exchange and cooperation among regional countries and East Asian integration.
Six years ago, China hosted the 9th Forum in Chengdu, which was my first time at the East Asia Forum. The in-depth discussion on regional integration during that forum left me with a deep impression. Six years later, China is again hosting the East Asia Forum and I am again honored to lead the Chinese delegation. I look forward to discussing with you matters of vital importance to East Asia cooperation.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This year marks the 20th anniversary of 10+3 cooperation. 20 years ago, with the strong momentum of globalization, regional integration and multi-polarity, countries in East Asia launched the 10+3 cooperation process in a joint fight against the Asian financial crisis. Since then, this framework has weathered two large financial crises, opened more than 20 cooperation areas and established over 60 dialogue and cooperation mechanisms. It is regarded as the main channel of East Asia cooperation and one of the most comprehensive and effective cooperation frameworks in Asia, making important contribution to dialogue and cooperation among regional countries and to regional development and prosperity. The regional cooperation has made positive progress.
In the process of 10+3 cooperation, regional countries have cultivated an East Asian cooperation culture, featuring three words that start with the letter C:
The first word is Consensus.
All member states support the centrality of ASEAN in East Asia cooperation, adhere to the principles of mutual respect, mutual benefit and consensus, accommodating the comfort levels of all parties, and keep broadening areas and deepening levels of cooperation. All sides have actively boosted common and sustainable development while speeding up their own development, actively promoted common and cooperative security while seeking their own security, discussed and took joint actions in response to common challenges while pushing forward dialogues and cooperation in various areas. All this has further enhanced the status of 10+3 cooperation.
The second word is Connectivity, which is crucial for deepening cooperation.
We have been pushing forward physical connectivity, supporting ASEAN in the implementation of the MPAC 2025, encouraging regional countries to speed up the building of infrastructures, including airports, ports, roads, bridges and facilities on energy and tele-communication.
We have been pushing forward economic and financial connectivity, speeding up the negotiations on RCEP and China-Japan-ROK FTA, and working on the building of a regional financial safety net with CMIM at its core.
We have been pushing forward people-to-people connectivity by establishing East Asia Forum, East Asia Business Council, NEAT and other dialogue mechanisms, and conducting programs such as exchanges of cultural cities, official visits and exchanges of universities.
We have been pushing forward connectivity of cooperation frameworks, increasing the complementarity and collaboration among the 10+3, other ASEAN-led frameworks and China-Japan-ROK cooperation.
Promoting connectivity is an important part of the Belt and Road Initiative. All 10+3 members sent high-level representatives to the Belt and Road forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing in May. The parties held in-depth discussions on regional connectivity and signed a great many cooperation agreements, injecting new vigor to East Asian connectivity.
The third word is Comprehensiveness.
We have expanded the scope of cooperation from traditional priorities of finance, food, energy, disaster management and poverty reduction to 24 areas of political and security, economy and finance, sustainable development and social and culture, and established a highly comprehensive cooperation mechanism.
In recent years, regional foreign exchange reserve pool of CMIM has been expanded to US$240 billion. AMRO has been upgraded to an international organization. Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility(CGIF) under Asia Bond Market Initiative has operated soundly. The 10+3 Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR) has started aid to disaster-affected area. Negotiation on RCEP is accelerating. The 10+3 has also increased attention to non-traditional security issues and actively conducted dialogue and cooperation in areas including disaster relief and control of infectious diseases.