The 11th ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) plus Three (China, Japan and South Korea) summit opened in Singapore Tuesday.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and leaders from the 10 ASEAN countries, as well as Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun were present at the meeting.
The ASEAN plus Three mechanism was established in the late 1990s, when ASEAN countries decided to enhance cooperation with other major economies of Asia.
The framework, initially focusing on economic cooperation, have expanded in recent years to sectors of politics, security, culture and other areas.
Leaders from China, Japan, South Korea and the 10 ASEAN countries meet annually to discuss cooperation and major international and regional issues.
Founded in 1967, ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmer, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
(Xinhua News Agency November 20, 2007)