Premier Wen Jiabao made a five-point proposal Sunday in Cubu to upgrade the level of regional cooperation being carried out by China, Japan, South Korea and 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Addressing leaders of ASEAN, Japan and South Korea at the 10th ASEAN plus three (10+3) summit in the resort Philippine city, Wen said ASEAN and their partner countries of China, Japan and South Korea should strengthen strategic planning first.
He said this year will be the 10th anniversary of 10+3 cooperation, and the 10+3 Summit at the end of the year will issue the second Joint Statement on East Asia Cooperation, a key document guiding future East Asia cooperation.
Wen said China will work closely with other countries to ensure that the statement will provide long-term and strategic guidance for future 10+3 cooperation.
Secondly, ASEAN and its partner countries should deepen economic, trade and financial cooperation, he said.
Wen said ASEAN as one part, and China, Japan and South Korea as another part should accelerate the process toward free trade between them, as well as speed up the building of an Asian Bond Market, facilitate the establishment of a regional investment and credit guarantee mechanism, improve the financing and investment environment in the region and enhance financial risk management.
He said that in order to strengthen financial market in East Asia and facilitate experience-sharing on developing bond market, China will host a 10+3 symposium on corporate bond market this year.
Wen suggested that ASEAN, China, Japan and South Korea advance security cooperation.
"Terrorism, trans-national crimes and severe natural disasters are threats we all face. 10+3 cooperation should take bigger steps in the security field. China proposes making full use of the existing cooperation mechanisms to strengthen dialogue and cooperation on major regional security issues," he said.
Wen said that to facilitate military exchanges in disaster response and relief, China is ready to host a 10+3 workshop on the participation of international disaster relief by armed forces this year.
Wen also proposed that ASEAN, China, Japan and South Korea expand social and cultural cooperation.
"Poverty alleviation and women affairs are new areas for 10+3 cooperation. To share experience in poverty alleviation, promote regional poverty alleviation cooperation and discuss ways of enhancing women's role in promoting economic development and social progress, China will hold this year a training course for officials for poverty alleviation and another one on women affairs for 10+3 countries," he said.
Wen finally said ASEAN, China, Japan and South Korea should increase cooperation in public health.
He said to strengthen cooperation in the prevention and control of avian influenza and newly emerging communicable diseases, China proposes that a regional disease monitoring network be set up to enhance the capacity of East Asian countries to prevent and control diseases and to respond to public health emergencies.
(Xinhua News Agency January 15, 2007)