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Chinese commerce minister calls for regional unity in East Asia to combat development challenges

By:Xinhua   Update:2016-08-04
VIENTIANE, Aug. 4 -- Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China, Japan, South Korea should unite efforts to address shared growth challenges in face of increasing global uncertainties, Chinese Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng said here Thursday.
Attending the ASEAN Plus Three (China, Japan and South Korea), or "10+3" economic ministers' meeting in the Lao capital, Gao called for all participant countries to shelve disputes while pursuing unity and mutual benefits.
The region, with a total GDP of 1.86 billion U.S. dollars and a population of nearly 2.2 billion, has strong resilience against economic risks, as East Asian economies are highly complementary to each other, he said.
Gao stressed that China will continue to support ASEAN's leading role in East Asia cooperation and the "10+3" mechanism as the main cooperation channel in East Asia.
"China is willing to work with its partners to promote regional economic integration to boost the region's economic prosperity and global economic growth," said Gao.
To further enhance regional cooperation, Gao urged all parties to support ASEAN's centrality in the negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a free trade pact involving the 10-member ASEAN and six other countries, including China.
China firmly supports ASEAN's leading role in the RCEP negotiation and is willing to join hands with all sides to push for its conclusion by the end of this year, he said.
Gao also called for more cross-border cooperation in infrastructure construction to enhance regional connectivity in East Asia under the "Belt and Road" framework, or the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, which aimed at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along ancient trade routes.
China would like to strengthen cooperation with all parties to jointly develop major transportation networks throughout East Asia to boost the region's prosperity and development with funding from Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Silk Road Fund, Asian Development Bank, as well as development aids and commercial loans, he said.
Gao also proposed to enhance industrial capacity cooperation as well as trade and investment in the region by improving trade facilitation and cooperating on logistics supply chain. China, Japan and South Korea should also further enhance cooperation to add new energy to the "10+3" economic and trade cooperation, he added.

Dian ICP Bei NO. 11000472-9