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E. Asia Forum, Community Discussed

The 3rd East Asia Forum in Beijing yesterday attracted over 100 officials, academics and business people from China, Japan, South Korea and the ten ASEAN countries, and Wu Jianmin, the president of China Foreign Affairs University said a cohesive East Asia Community is distant but progress towards it is continuing steadily.


Wu said despite growing initiatives by the “10+3” countries to create stronger links between northeast and southeast Asia, the establishment of an East Asia Community "still has a long way to go," adding there is no unified roadmap or timetable for charting the course.


He said the overriding goal for each country is development of its national economy, so economic cooperation is a focus in the current stage of the process; but cooperation will expand to other aspects including regional security and culture.


Wu said the establishment of an East Asia Community needs understanding from world economic powers such as the US, and that it is an unprecedented undertaking.


The 10+3 Summit Meeting last year identified the establishment of an East Asia Community as a long-term goal and many ideas including unified tariffs and a common Asian currency were topics of the discussion at yesterday's event.


The first-ever East Asia Summit will be held in Malaysia next month.


Wu said that though tensions in the relationship between China and Japan produced a "difficult situation," this would "be resolved at some time eventually."  


(China Daily November 1, 2005)

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