Premier urges to steer China-Japan-ROK cooperation in right direction

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The cooperation among China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) is an important part of East Asian cooperation, and the correct direction of the tripartite cooperation should be firmly kept from a strategic perspective, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Friday at a meeting of leaders of the three countries.

The cooperation among China, Japan and the ROK, an important part of East Asian cooperation, has been developing soundly with the efforts of the three countries, Wen said when meeting with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

The three countries should attach strategic importance to the cooperation among them and steer it in the right direction. Efforts should be made to constantly push forward the cooperation by promoting dialogues, boosting mutual trust and resolving differences, he said.

Wen proposed that the three countries push for the completion of the joint study on the China-Japan-ROK free trade area (FTA) by the government, industry and academia by 2012 as planned.

He also proposed that the three countries observe the principle of pragmatism and flexibility to properly resolve the differences and conclude a tripartite investment agreement at an early date.

The three sides should also boost cooperation in science and technological innovation in key sectors such as energy conservation, environment protection, new energy resources and renewable energy, he said.

The Chinese premier proposed that the three countries kick off the preparatory work on the China-Japan-ROK recycling economy demonstration base as soon as possible, further strengthen cooperation in health and hygiene and optimize the tripartite cooperation mechanism.

Trilateral cooperation not only serves the interests of the three nations, but is also conducive to boosting regional cooperation in East Asia, and will be of crucial significance of peace and stability of Northeast Asia and of the world as a whole, said Japanese and South Korean leaders at the meeting.

Kan and Lee meanwhile hailed the positive achievements made in the three-way cooperation, and pledged continuous efforts to ensure the completion of the joint FTA study on schedule.

Apart from pushing forward the signing of the tripartite investment agreement, they also vowed to work jointly to enhance personnel exchanges, so as to facilitate the launching of a three-way cooperation secretariat next year.

Leaders from the three countries agreed to strengthen communication and cooperation under such multilateral frameworks as the Group of 20 (G20) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

The three leaders also exchanged views on issues concerning the situation in Northeast Asia and G20.

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