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Wang Yi Attends the ASEAN Plus Three Foreign Ministers' Meeting
2021-08-04 16:30

On the afternoon of August 3, 2021, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Foreign Ministers' Meeting via video link.

Wang Yi said, the global pandemic is constantly evolving, the economic recovery is clearly divided, and new challenges keep emerging. We should continue to pull together to vigorously carry out practical cooperation, promote overall economic recovery and continuously enhance the crisis response capacity of East Asian countries. At the same time, we should take a long-term view, improve mechanisms, enhance the resilience and vitality of the cooperation among the APT countries, and jointly uphold the stability and prosperity in East Asia that has not come easily and lasted for many years.

Wang Yi said, the APT countries are the backbone of East Asia cooperation. We will take the 25th anniversary of APT cooperation next year as an opportunity to formulate an APT Cooperation Work Plan (2023-2027) and make a roadmap for future cooperation to serve the goal of the East Asian Community.

First, we need to jointly build a barrier against the pandemic in East Asia. China has provided more than 750 million doses of vaccines to other countries so far, and will continue to provide 110 million doses for the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) in the following four months. In the next three years, China will provide another 3 billion U.S. dollars for international assistance. China will continue to increase vaccine supply to help all countries with their vaccination process. China supports making good use of the APT Cooperation Fund and the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund to procure urgently needed supplies such as vaccines. We should speed up the setting-up of an APT Reserve of Medical Supplies for Public Health Emergencies and the ASEAN Reserve of Medical Supplies. Tracing the origin of the virus is a serious scientific issue that bears on the common interests of the international community. We hope that all parties uphold a scientific, fair and objective position, oppose the attempts of politicizing the origin tracing of the virus, resist the "political virus" from harming the origin tracing research, and work together to prevent future risks and safeguard global public health security.

Second, we need to jointly promote economic integration in East Asia. We should push the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) into force as early as possible and accelerate regional economic integration. We should enhance the resilience of industrial and supply chains to risks, and implement the APT's Connecting the Connectivities Initiative. China is ready to continue to make new contributions to deepening Lancang-Mekong Cooperation and China-BIMP-EAGA cooperation. We should enhance the availability of the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization, promote green finance cooperation, and give full play to the role of the APT Inter-Bank Association to serve regional economic and financial governance.

Third, we need to work together for the transformation and development of East Asia. We need to accelerate regional digital transformation, make good use of East Asian countries' market size, and vigorously carry out practical cooperation on artificial intelligence and digital economy. China is ready to host the ASEAN Plus Three Young Scientists Innovation Forum and conduct cyber security exercises to jointly create an open, fair and just environment for the development of the digital economy. We need to accelerate the regional energy transition, actively carry out energy security cooperation and promote green growth. China will continue to hold the ASEAN+3 Clean Energy Roundtable Dialogue. We should promote the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and accelerate the transformation of regional rural development. China is ready to share its experience in poverty Reduction with all parties and promote better development of the countries in the region through the East Asia Poverty Reduction Cooperation Pilot Project.

Fourth, we need to jointly build the value foundation of East Asia. We should all pursue the common values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom. We should actively carry out exchanges in education, culture and the media. We should base ourselves on East Asia and look to the rest of the world, making peace and stability in East Asia contribute to global stability and harmony, making economic development in East Asia contribute to global economic recovery, and making scientific governance in East Asia contribute to the orderly development of the world.

The Foreign Ministers of Japan, the Republic of Korea and ASEAN countries stated that facing the dual challenges of pandemic impact and economic recovery, the APT countries should adhere to solidarity, cooperation, openness and inclusiveness more than ever before, strengthen partnerships, deepen connectivity, ensure smooth flow of industrial and supply chains, and enhance resilience to various risks and challenges, working together for regional development and prosperity. The foreign ministers spoke highly of the remarkable results of the APT cooperation and agreed to strengthen cooperation on vaccine research and development, actively promote the setting-up of an APT Reserve of Medical Supplies for Public Health Emergencies and the ASEAN Reserve of Medical Supplies, support the issuance of a "Declaration of Cooperation in Adolescent Mental Health", play the role of the East Asia Emergency Rice Reserve System and jointly push for an early victory over the pandemic in the region. They agreed to uphold multilateralism and free trade, work for the early implementation of the RCEP, and boost confidence in regional economic growth. They all stressed the need to expand cooperation in emerging areas such as the digital economy and climate change to promote green and sustainable development in the region.

The participants also had an in-depth exchange of views on other regional issues. They wish the Tokyo Olympics success and look forward to a wonderful Beijing Winter Olympics next year.

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