The fifth meeting of the leaders of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea kicked off in Beijing on Sunday morning. [Xinhua]
The fifth meeting of the leaders of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) kicked off in Beijing on Sunday morning.
The meeting is chaired by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and attended by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and ROK President Lee Myung-bak.
At the start of the meeting, Wen said facts have proven that cooperation between China, Japan and the ROK is in the fundamental interests of the three nations and their peoples, and it "has increased our strength to fight difficulties and seek common development."
China has the confidence, conditions and capabilities to achieve this year's development goals, Wen added.
Wen noted that the Chinese economy is currently enjoying sound development momentum, and people's living standards and market confidence are continuing to improve.
China will accelerate the transition of the country's development mode, adjust the economic structure, strive to expand domestic demand, promote energy conservation and emissions reduction, develop the green economy and realize sustainable development, the premier said.
Leaders of the three countries reviewed the progress of trilateral cooperation, laid out plans for future cooperation and exchanged views on global and regional issues of common concern. They agreed to launch talks on a free trade area (FTA) this year and witnessed the signing of an investment agreement between the three countries.
The trilateral meeting is of great significance for the peace and stability of the region, as the international financial crisis is not yet over and the outlook on the European debt crisis is uncertain, Wen said.
"Northeast Asia and East Asia face many unstable and uncertain factors. The three countries need to strengthen strategic communication and coordination, continue to enhance political and strategic mutual trust, respect and accommodate each other's major concerns, create a positive and friendly social environment and properly handle unfavorable cooperation factors so as to safeguard common interests and open a new chapter for the three countries' cooperation," he said.
Speaking on the situation in Northeast Asia, Wen said peace and stability in Northeast Asia is in the vital interests of all the countries in the region and it is the major precondition for sustainable development and prosperity.
"We need to leave Cold War thinking behind, insist on resolving relevant issues through peaceful dialogues and negotiations, pay attention to the reasonable security concerns of all parties and make joint efforts to promote long-standing peace in Northeast Asia," he said.
"The current priority is to try our best to avoid the escalation of the already tense situation on the Korean Peninsula. All parties need to use their wisdom at the most extent, maintain calmness, restraint and patience, show their goodwill, so to ease tensions and get back to the right track of dialogue and negotiations."
Lee and Noda said the three countries enjoy large-scale cooperation that covers a wide range of areas and is fruitful. They advised the three countries to further strengthen communication and coordination, bring the three countries' cooperation to a higher level, advance the construction of the FTA and launch negotiations on the FTA this year.
They said the investment agreement is of great significance and the three countries need to implement the agreement earnestly, enhance cooperation in sustainable development and the cultural and social fields and work together to safeguard peace and stability in Northeast Asia.
After the meeting the leaders of the three countries attended the signing ceremony for an agreement to promote, facilitate and protect investment between the three countries and jointly met the press.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the normalization of China-Japan ties and the Year of China-Japan Friendly Exchanges. It is also the 20th anniversary of China-ROK diplomatic relations and the Year of China-ROK Friendly Exchanges.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei previously said that cooperation among China, Japan and the ROK has developed rapidly with remarkable results, and he believed the meeting would further boost trilateral cooperation through their joint efforts.
The first meeting of the three countries' leaders outside the ASEAN plus China, Japan and the ROK framework was held in Fukuoka, Japan, in 2008.