On October 27, the China-Japan-ROK Seminar was held in Beijing with the theme, "Communication for Win-win Cooperation". Sponsored by the China Public Affairs Association, the semi-official seminar is considered a rehearsal for Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's visit to the ROK and to attend the China-Japan-ROK Summit. Trilateral cooperation may go back to normal in the near future. [Special coverage]
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi delivered a speech at the seminar. Former Japanese ambassador to China Yuji Miyamoto, former ROK ambassador to China Lee Kyu Hyung, Secretary-General of Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat Yang Houlan and specialists from the three countries gave presentations.
With serious setbacks starting in 2012 among the three countries, it is seldom for such high-level events to occur.
Wang said China, Japan and ROK should overcome difficulties to enhance mutual trust, comprehensive cooperation, mutual benefit and common development for the goal of East Asia Economic Community in 2020.
The three countries expect future-oriented cooperation and development, while obstacles still exist. In recent years, cooperation between the three countries had been interrupted by Tokyo's negative actions.
There should be a new strategic evaluation of trilateral relations and East Asia international order changes. That's what the three countries expect to achieve at the seminar.
The theme of peace and development in the modern world, friendship and cooperation remain the main trend and common interest for them.
In the past few years, however, the perverse acts by Japan have deviated from the normal track of trilateral relations, which impacted the political mutual trust resulting in tense relations.
Nowadays, the three countries realize the importance of sustainable and stable relations through joint efforts. It's a positive sign for the East Asia region. The restart of trilateral exchanges on a regular basis will strengthen cooperation.
Mutual trust is a weak point, since historical misgivings of the cold war have dampened prospects. The three countries should enhance mutual trust by consolidating a mechanism for communication. Both the summit talks and communication in various fields would enhance mutual trust.
The three countries should engage in both traditional cooperation and new cooperative projects, as well as in exchanges at the governmental and non-governmental levels. Various methods of cooperation can meet the needs in traditional fields, and satisfy the economic transformation of the three countries.
The restart of China-Japan-ROK cooperation dialogue would lead the trilateral cooperation into a new time, bringing the three countries' relations back to a normal track and infusing peace and stability in East Asia and Asia-Pacific regions.
We have seen a consensus on facing up to history, creating good-neighborliness and friendliness and common prosperity. With joint efforts, the seminar is expected to create a more favorable atmosphere from the public for the ongoing summit and provide a new platform of mutual trust.
By Shen Haitao, professor of Center for Northeast Asian Studies of Jilin University