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East Asian Powers Pledge to Enhance Political Trust
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Leaders from China, Japan and South Korea agreed on Sunday to hold meetings on a rotating basis to further enhance political trust.


At the Seventh Trilateral Leaders' Meeting of China, Japan and South Korea in Cebu, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun agreed for the first such meeting to be held between the leaders in China this year.


During the meeting held in Cebu, the second largest city of the Philippines, the three leaders further reached consensus on improving political trust among the three East Asian countries.


First, it was agreed that communications should be strengthened by the three leaders while maintaining the existing mechanism of trilateral meetings. They will hold the aforesaid meetings, should a need arise, in one of the three countries on a rotating basis.


Secondly, the leaders agreed to establish a trilateral mechanism of regular consultations among senior foreign affairs officials to communicate on issues of common concern and accurately handle the concerns of each country.


Thirdly, a shared desire was expressed to promote cooperation on trade, investment and energy. They agreed to initiate trilateral investment arrangement negotiations and to explore a mechanism of trilateral quality inspection.


Fourthly, the leaders agreed to strengthen cooperation on trade, economy, information industry, environmental protection, development of human resources and culture. A number of new priorities were jointly named for trilateral cooperation, including finance, science and technology, public health, tourism, logistics and distribution, youth and teenager communications.


Finally, the leaders agreed to promote cultural exchanges in a bid to enhance understanding and friendship among the people of the three countries. The three countries will jointly hold the "Year of Cultural Exchanges among China, Japan and Republic of Korea" in 2007.


China will hold the Ninth Asian Art Festival under the theme of Chinese, Japanese and South Korean cultures.


Wen called the strengthening of cooperation between China, Japan and South Korea as conforming to the common aspiration of all people in the region, and to the common expectations of the international community and the trend of the times.


On the Korean nuclear issue, Wen emphasized China's adherence to peaceful resolution of the issue through dialogue and negotiation so as to achieve denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and to maintain peace and stability on the peninsula and in Northeast Asia at large.


Under active mediation by China and with joint efforts from all parties concerned, he said, the process of six-party talks resumed after a 13-month stalemate.


Wen said the six-party talks, as a practical and effective means to solve the nuclear issue, creates an important communication and consultation platform for all parties aiding in building a new model in Northeast Asia.


Wen said China is ready to make joint efforts with Japan and South Korea to hold sound consultations with other parties, strive for progress and realize denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.


Abe and Roh said Japan and South Korea will strive for peaceful resolution of the nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiation. They expressed their willingness to strengthen communication and cooperation with China to expedite the process of the six-party talks.


On cooperation in East Asia, Wen said China, Japan and South Korea should continue to promote the cooperation in the spirit of openness, inclusiveness, tolerance, and win-win results of mutual benefit.


Wen said ASEAN's leading role in East Asia cooperation should be respected, and ASEAN Plus Three (China, Japan and South Korea) should be regarded as the main channel in pushing forward East Asia cooperation.


The leaders of the three countries maintained that their meeting was frank, practical and fruitful, which clarified the direction of trilateral cooperation in the future.


(Xinhua News Agency January 15, 2007)


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