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The Ninth Trilateral Foreign Ministers' Meeting Among China, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Japan Held in Beijing

On August 21, 2019, the ninth Trilateral Foreign Ministers' Meeting among China, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Japan was held in Beijing. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi presided over the meeting while Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha of the ROK and Foreign Minister Taro Kono of Japan attended.

Wang Yi said, this year marks the 20th anniversary of cooperation among China, the ROK and Japan. China-ROK-Japan cooperation has boosted the national development of the respective countries, and also contributed to peace, stability and prosperity of the region and the world at large. The past 20 years of trilateral cooperation have taught us that only by constantly enhancing mutual trust can our cooperation achieve steady and far-reaching progress; only by deepening convergence of interests can cooperation gain strong momentum; and only by properly handling differences can the overall cooperation be guaranteed. The three countries should work together to make trilateral cooperation more fruitful in the next 20 years.

Wang Yi expressed, the three countries should grasp the right direction of cooperation, and push forward China-ROK-Japan cooperation along the right track so as to make trilateral cooperation the cornerstone of prosperity and stability in Northeast Asia, the basis for the construction of East Asian Community and the engine of world economic development. The three countries should maintain sound bilateral relations, continue to uphold the spirit of facing up to history and looking into the future, respect respective core interests and major concerns, and properly handle the problems that crop up. The three countries should achieve high-quality development by formulating cooperation plans, strengthening cooperation in science and technology, big data, artificial intelligence, 5G and other fields, and optimizing the industrial structure. It is hoped that the ROK and Japan will stick to be independent and provide a fair, non-discriminatory and predictable business environment for enterprises of all countries. The three countries should build a good foundation of public support, and vigorously carry out exchanges and cooperation in the fields of sports, movies and aged people welfare, which will benefit the peoples, to enhance the friendship among the people of the three countries. The three countries should safeguard free trade and build an open world economy, play their due role in concluding the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations by the end of this year, and push forward the negotiations on the China-ROK-Japan free trade area to make new phased progress. The three countries also need to put in place the consensus reached at the national leaders' meeting, plan for common development, advance "China-ROK-Japan+X" cooperation, and jointly promote the high-quality construction of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Wang Yi noted, the People's Republic of China will soon celebrate the 70th anniversary of its founding. The cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics is thriving with a promising future. China will unswervingly continue its promotion of all-round opening-up, provide strong impetus for world economic growth, provide a stable market for trade and investment of all other countries, and make positive contributions to the global governance reform. A more open China will certainly bring new opportunities for the development of the ROK and Japan and provide broader space for deepening China-ROK-Japan cooperation.

Kang Kyung-wha and Taro Kono spoke highly of the achievements of trilateral cooperation in the 20 years, and fully recognized the significance of trilateral cooperation in promoting the development in their countries and regional peace. They agreed that the three countries should maintain good bilateral relations, actively advance trilateral cooperation, speed up the RCEP negotiations and China-ROK-Japan free trade area, and jointly safeguard multilateralism and free trade. The hosting of the Olympic Games and the Winter Olympic Games presents a good opportunity to boost people-to-people and cultural exchanges in youth and sports, thus to constantly cement the social and public support for trilateral cooperation. The three countries should actively promote "China-ROK-Japan+X" cooperation, strengthen cooperation in areas including scientific and technological innovation, and environment and disaster management, and elevate trilateral cooperation to a new level to bring more benefits to the people of the three countries and the region.

The three sides exchanged views on international and regional issues of common concern and agreed to play a leading, stabilizing and constructive role in promoting East Asia cooperation and regional security. The three sides had full exchange of views on preparations for the eighth China-ROK-Japan Leaders' Meeting and reached important consensus.

The meeting adopted the concept paper on "China-ROK-Japan+X" cooperation.

After the meeting, Wang Yi, Kang Kyung-wha and Taro Kono jointly met the press and attended the release ceremony of the album Beautiful China, the Republic of Korea and Japan commemorating the 20th anniversary of China-ROK-Japan cooperation.

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