ASEAN+3 to boost economic ties, promote ASEAN’s central role

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(VOVWORLD) - Foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations plus Japan, China and South Korea agreed Saturday to bolster ASEAN’s central role in the region and ASEAN+3 cooperative mechanism.

They confirmed that over the past 2 decades, ASEAN+3 has become is an important mechanism that contributes to development and stability in Southeast Asia, East Asia, and the Asia Pacific. Trade turnover between ASEAN and the Plus Three countries in 2017 amounted to USD 807.3 billion, accounting for 32% of ASEAN’s total trade turnover.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters on the sidelines of the meeting that ASEAN+3 plays an important role in boosting prosperity in East Asia.

The ministers also exchanged views on regional and international issues. They hailed recent developments on the Korean peninsular and pledged their support for peace, stability and denuclearization on the Korean peninsular.

On the East Sea issue, they emphasized the importance of ensuring peace, stability, security, navigation and maritime freedom in the East Sea, adding that this is a legitimate right of all countries. They called on concerned parties to abide by the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), refrain from any unilateral acts that would escalate the situations, avoid militarizing disputed areas, and settle disputes through peaceful means in accordance with international laws, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and speed up negotiation on the Code of Conduct in the East Sea. They hailed ASEAN and China create 'single draft' for East Sea’s Code of Conduct (COC), which will serve as an important foundation for future negotiations on COC.