‘ASEAN+3 leaders’ meeting to offer guidance for cooperation’

The upcoming ASEAN+3 leaders’ meeting will offer a strategic guidance for regional cooperation in the Covid-19 pandemic era, a deputy chief of an international organization has said.

The meeting, which will involve China, Japan, South Korea and member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), will be held online this weekend.

“It is believed that the upcoming 10+3 Summit will provide strategic guidance for East Asian regional cooperation in the current and post-pandemic period, especially for economic recovery of East Asia,” Cao Jing, deputy Secretary-General of the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat (TCS), told Xinhua news agency in an interview.

“East Asian countries supported each other with medical supplies, shared relevant experience and technologies, which proved with facts and actions that multilateralism, solidarity and cooperation are the most effective ways to deal with the pandemic,” said Cao.

Cao noted that the cooperation among China, Japan and South Korea and the ASEAN Plus Three cooperation are “closely related and mutually promoting each other.”

Cao said China, Japan and South Korea have been leading East Asia “at the forefront of global anti-pandemic and economic recovery,” citing the continued policy coordination among the three countries.

The three countries have held different ministerial meetings on such sectors as foreign affairs, health, transportation, finance and central bank, while sending medical supplies to help each other overcome the virus crisis.

The TCS deputy chief said her organization has been actively working in jointly fighting against the pandemic since its outbreak as the TCS is mandated to deepen the cooperation among China, Japan and South Korea and promote regional peace and development.

The TCS is an international body that was launched in September 2011 and headquartered in South Korean capital Seoul with an aim to promote peace and common prosperity among the three Asian nations.

On the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), Cao forecast that the signing of the RCEP agreement as scheduled will “create a new highlight and send a positive signal to the global economy.”

The RCEP is a mega trade pact proposed by ASEAN to boost trade among its 10 member states and with its free trade agreement partners, namely China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.

Negotiations of the RCEP were launched in November 2012.

The ASEAN, founded in 1967, groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.