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Wang Yi: China, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Japan Should Play a Leading, Stabilizing and Constructive Role in East Asia Cooperation and Regional Security

On August 21, 2019, at the ninth Trilateral Foreign Ministers' Meeting among China, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Japan, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed that China, the ROK and Japan should play a leading, stabilizing and constructive role in East Asia cooperation and regional security.

Wang Yi noted, China, the ROK and Japan all have important influence in Asia and the world at large. We all pay attention to regional stability and care about global prosperity, and are willing to make efforts to this end.

We need to play a leading role in East Asia cooperation. As protectionism rises and the outlook of the world economy remains unclear, China, the ROK and Japan, the three important economies, should provide more certainty and positive energy for regional development. We need to enhance coordination and cooperation in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Plus Three (China, Japan and the ROK), East Asia Summit, ASEAN Regional Forum and Mekong sub-region cooperation, and take a positive view and respond to cooperation proposals put forward by each side. We need to push regional cooperation to focus on Asia, build consensus and uphold openness and inclusiveness. We should strive for the conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations within this year, further discuss approaches of building the East Asian economic community and draw up a blueprint for regional economic cooperation at a higher level.

We should play a stabilizing role in regional security. On the doorstep of our three countries, the security of Asia is closely related to the security of the three countries. We should therefore attach greater importance to each country's concerns and coordinate with each other in a more active manner. It is hoped that the three sides will work out a security framework which is truly regional, to implement the vision on common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. A "beggar-thy-neighbour" approach hurts others and brings no good to oneself. Pursuing the Cold War mentality goes against the trend of history. Confrontation will surely result in a lose-lose situation. China resolutely opposes the attempt of the United States (US) to deploy land-based intermediate-range missiles in the Asia-Pacific region. China will pursue a national defense policy that is defensive in nature. We are willing to work with the ROK and Japan to safeguard regional peace and stability.

We should play a constructive role in the Korean Peninsula issue. At present, some changes have occurred in the generally stable Korean Peninsula situation, among which the uncertainties draw attention of all sides concerned. The significant consensus on establishing the peace mechanism and realizing the denuclearization of the Peninsula reached by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the US did not come easily, and therefore should be cherished. The political solution to the Korean Peninsula issue should move forward. It should not get stuck in stagnation, still less should it move backward. The Chinese side's stance has been clear and consistent. That is, in line with the phased and synchronized concept, all parties concerned should earnestly address their reasonable concerns through negotiation and consultation, including the DPRK's legitimate concerns in terms of security guarantee and easing sanctions. We hope all parties concerned will continue to make efforts in this regard.

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