Stronger good-neighborly relations and closer regional cooperation are priorities in China's external work, and stability and cooperation of East Asia is all the more important, said Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing.
Addressing the ASEAN+3 Foreign Ministers' Meeting (10+3) held in Phnom Penh on Tuesday, Li said China has affirmed the guideline toward its neighbors as "building good-neighborly relationships and partnerships with neighboring countries."
The current Chinese government "will get involved in regional cooperation with even greater enthusiasm and initiative and work with the surrounding countries for common development," he added.
Li explained China's policy on East Asian regional cooperation in the new period. He said that China will continue to take 10+3 cooperation as the main channel for regional cooperation and that China supports the phasing-in of an improved trade and investment framework in the region, eventually leading to the free flow of materials, personnel, technology and information.
China also supports the simultaneous development of Asia's multi-tier cooperation mechanism, encourages and promotes East Asian regional cooperation, the minister said.
Li said facts prove that the 10+3 mechanism has blazed a solid and steady trail of cooperation and created a new model for common progress among neighboring countries.
He said the 10+3 countries should actively explore the measures and ways for expanding trade and investment facilities and tap the potential for trade so as to raise economic growth levels of the East Asian countries.
"Moreover, the 10+3 countries should press ahead with regional financial cooperation, playing an important role in exploring and pushing the establishment of a unified Asian bond market," he said.
He also said it is necessary to implement without delay the Final Report of East Asia Study Group adopted at last year's 10+3 summit.
"Our common interests are increasingly broadening and we will definitely move forward in solidarity to create a brighter future for East Asia," said Li Zhaoxing.
(Xinhua News Agency June 18, 2003)