China urges Japan, ROK to bolster regional solidarity

2023-07-04 08:20:48China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China, Japan and the Republic of Korea should continue to respect one another and coexist in peace, senior diplomat Wang Yi said on Monday, calling on the three countries to bolster solidarity and oppose Cold War mentality and coercion.

Wang, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remarks during the opening ceremony of the 2023 International Forum for Trilateral Cooperation in Qingdao, Shandong province.

Wang, who is also director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, said the three countries should send a clear message through the forum that they are renewing their cooperation.

China, Japan and the ROK, which account for one-fifth of the world's population and more than a quarter of global GDP, launched trilateral cooperation in 1999. So far, the three countries have established a cooperation framework comprising trilateral leaders' meetings, more than 20 ministerial-level meetings and over 70 dialogue mechanisms.

The trilateral cooperation has developed into the most influential subregional cooperation mechanism in Asia, providing an important driver for the modernization of the three countries as well as the region, Wang said.

In recent years, however, "a certain power outside the region" has been hyping up ideological differences and forming exclusive cliques, instigating confrontation and division in Asia, he pointed out.

If such a trend is allowed, it will seriously disrupt trilateral cooperation and increase tensions in the region, he warned.

"China respects Japan's and the ROK's development of relations with all countries in the world, but no relation should be used to contain or besiege their neighbors," Wang said.

The three countries, which "depend on and benefit from one another", should strengthen their mutual trust and oppose any words or deeds that may drag the region into a cold war or hot war, he said.

They should uphold sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, pay high attention to reasonable security concerns of all countries and address their differences through talks, he added.

Referring to major issues including the Taiwan question, the senior diplomat urged Japan and the ROK to honor the commitments they have made "without any ambiguity".

Wang also called on the three countries to resist "decoupling", create a favorable environment and stable expectations for companies and speed up their talks over the establishment of a trilateral free trade zone.

Attended by former officials, former diplomats and experts from the three countries, Monday's forum was the first of its kind to have been convened offline since the COVID-19 pandemic.

During their meetings with Wang on the margins of the forum, some participants from the ROK and Japan expressed their hope to deepen exchanges with China and speed up the recovery of trilateral cooperation. They said they hoped the forum will be the start of the improvement of relations among the three countries.


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