Home · Weather · Forum · Learning Chinese · Jobs · Shopping
Search This Site
China | International | Business | Government | Environment | Olympics/Sports | Travel/Living in China | Culture/Entertainment | Books & Magazines | Health
Home / International / International -- Opinion Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
ASEAN+3, a Win-win Road for Integration of East Asia
Adjust font size:

On the last day of July, just days before the 40th Anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), foreign ministers from the 10 ASEAN member countries and China, Japan and South Korea (10+3) gathered in Manila of the Philippines to discuss issues including economy, politics and security.

Leaders and high ranking officials of 10+3 sitting together to have meetings was incogitable for most of people a decade ago. But now all the politicians and observers have noticed that the relationship of partners within 10+3 is unprecedented close and comprehensive today.

On Dec. 15, 1997 in Malaysia, leaders of ASEAN's member countries and China, Japan and South Korea historically gathered together to discuss the future of East Asia, cheering the establishment of 10+3 framework.

As two of the most economic energetic regions in the world, the cooperation between Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia mainly focused in the fields of trade and economy at the first phase, and reached a prodigious success soon.

Take China-ASEAN trade as an example, in the past decade, the two-way trade volume has increased yearly about 20 percent. According to statistics of China's Ministry of Commerce, it reached to US$160.8 billion in 2006, and the figure is expected to surpass US$180 billion this year.

Now China is the fourth biggest trade partner of ASEAN, and ASEAN the fifth of China.

In 2002, China became the first country to sign agreement with ASEAN on building Free Trade Area (FTA), which will be completed by 2010. In the past five years, taxes of about 7,000 kinds of goods has lowered down, scale of mutually direct investment went on bulge, China-ASEAN Expo which held in China's Nanning every year since 2004 has become an important stage for bilateral trade and communications. People of both sides have benefited a lot in the FTA.

South Korea and Japan also do not want to lag behind in term of10+3 cooperation. A free-trade deal covering merchandise between South Korea and ASEAN, excluding Thailand, came into force on June1. Negotiations covering services and investment will end by the end of this year.

The trade volume of South Korea and ASEAN reached US$53.5 billion, account for one tenth of South Korea's total trade, in the year 2005. Investment of US$12.5 billion from South Korea flew to ASEAN in 2006.

Although Japan has not signed free trade deal with ASEAN, it has been one of the countries that invest most in ASEAN members in the past 30 years.

In a healthy competition of the three countries so far to boost trade and investment in ASEAN, economic integration in East Asia becomes foreseeable.

As the cooperation is deepening and broadening, the concerned topics of 10+3 gradually expand to politics, security, culture and other fields. Under the framework, minister-level meeting system in the diplomatic, financial, economic, agricultural, tourism and labor fields has built up and run healthily. Cooperation in non-traditional security, energy security, education, bird-flu prevention, poverty alleviation and disaster management are all getting on smoothly.

At Manila, the ministers urged to draft the 2nd Joint Statement on East Asia Cooperation to round up the accomplishments, because the 10+3 framework compiled in 1999 had not covered with all aspects of cooperation.

As another strong signal, the ministers also discussed regional hot issues such as the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula. It shows that the 10+3 nations have the common interest in keeping peace and stability in the region and the world.

After establishment, 10+3 persist on supporting ASEAN to play an important role in framework like East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD), Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and integration of East Asia.

However, East Asia, with huge diversities in religions, ideology and culture background, disputes left behind by history and great imbalance in levels of economy and society development, it is still a long way for a final integration.

"Economic development in our region is still unbalanced and some countries still lag behind in economic and social development," Chinese foreign minister Yang Jiechi said to his counterparts in Manila, "The overall competitiveness of East Asia needs to be enhanced."

No matter how, the 10+3 has become a win-win road for integration of East Asia, and more important, as leaders stressed in Manila that the 10+3 is one of the most important cooperation frameworks in the region and the main tool in the long-term goal of establishing an East Asian Community.

(Xinhua News Agency August 9, 2007)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Username   Password   Anonymous

China Archives
Related >>
- Premier Wen Congratulates ASEAN on 40th Anniversary
- Cooperation Enters New Era
- Trade Ties with ASEAN to Be Strengthened
- ASEAN FTA Deal 'on Track'
- Guangxi Looks to ASEAN Platform
- China-ASEAN Ties Hailed
- Can Energy Stakes Unite East Asian Countries?
- Overcoming Obstacles to East Asia Community
- Wen Explains China's Position at ASEM Summit
- East Asia Summit: New Mode for Regional Co-op
- 1st East Asia Summit Opens in Kuala Lumpur
Most Viewed >>
-What's behind Russia's military show-off
-Cambodian government postpones meeting for officials to celebrate Spring Festival
-Chinese in Chad moved to safety
-Iran launches first space research center
-Quakes kill at least 38, wounds hundreds
> Korean Nuclear Talks
> Reconstruction of Iraq
> Middle East Peace Process
> Iran Nuclear Issue
> 6th SCO Summit Meeting
- China Development Gateway
- Foreign Ministry
- Network of East Asian Think-Tanks
- China-EU Association
- China-Africa Business Council
- China Foreign Affairs University
- University of International Relations
- Institute of World Economics & Politics
- Institute of Russian, East European & Central Asian Studies
- Institute of West Asian & African Studies
- Institute of Latin American Studies
- Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies
- Institute of Japanese Studies
SiteMap | About Us | RSS | Newsletter | Feedback

Copyright © All Rights Reserved E-mail: Tel: 86-10-88828000 京ICP证 040089号