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The Seventh Trilateral Leaders' Meeting of China, Japan and the ROK Held

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao poses for a photo with President of the Republic of Korea Roh Moo-hyun and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe before the meeting

On January 14, 2007, the Seventh Trilateral Leaders' Meeting of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea was held in Cebu, Philippines. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Roh Moo-hyun attended the meeting, which was chaired by Premier Wen.

Wen said China, Japan and the ROK, as neighbors to each other and important countries in East Asia, shoulder the common responsibility of promoting regional peace and development. China, Japan and the ROK, either viewed from the fundamental and long-term interests of the three countries or from the objective of achieving harmonious development in the region, should further strengthen their cooperation, which is in conformity with the common aspiration of the people of all countries in the region, the common expectations of the international community and the trend of the times, he said.

Wen pointed out that mutual trust is a prerequisite and foundation for cooperation and sound bilateral ties between the three countries is of great significance. The three sides should continue to maintain the sound momentum of the improvement of Sino-Japanese and ROK-Japanese ties and push for tripartite cooperation based on mutual trust, mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit and all-win results, so as to contribute to peace and development in East Asia.

Abe said currently the exchanges and cooperation among the three countries are unprecedented both in width and depth. All the three countries are important nations in Asia and should strengthen cooperation from a long-term perspective, he said. To this end, the leaders of the three countries should maintain contact and dialogue, Abe added.

Roh said in the context of accelerated globalization and integration, the ROK, Japan and China should build up mutual understanding and trust, take into consideration their respective interests and concerns, and promote the building of cooperation mechanism to enrich the cooperation.

The three leaders exchanged views on improving political trust and mutual benefit among the three East Asian countries and reached consensus in the following five aspects. First, they agreed that the leaders of the three countries should strengthen communication and maintain the existing mechanism of trilateral leaders' meeting, and that they will hold aperiodic meetings, should a need arise, in one of the three countries on a rotating basis. Secondly, the leaders agreed to establish a mechanism of regular consultations among senior foreign affairs officials of the three countries to communicate on issues of common concern and properly handle the concerns of each country. The first meeting will be held in China this year. Thirdly, they expressed the willingness to promote cooperation on trade, investment and energy. They agreed to initiate negotiations on trilateral investment arrangement 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. They jointly named a number of new priorities in trilateral cooperation, including finance, science and technology, public health, tourism, logistics and distribution, youth and teenager communication. Fifthly, 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 "Year of Cultural Exchanges among China, Japan and Republic of Korea" in2007. China will hold the Ninth Asian Art Festival under the theme of Chinese, Japanese and ROK cultures this year.

On cooperation in East Asia, Wen said China, Japan and the Republic of Korea should continue to promote the cooperation in the spirit of openness, inclusiveness, and win-win results of mutual benefit. Wen said that they should respect the ASEAN's leading role in East Asia cooperation, and regard the ASEAN Plus Three (China, Japan and the ROK) as the main channel in pushing forward East Asia cooperation.

Abe and Roh said Japan and the ROK are ready to make active efforts in building up a model of regional security, stability and cooperation.

On the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula, Wen emphasized China's adherence to peaceful resolution of the issue through dialogue and negotiations 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 by all parties concerned, he said, the process of six-party talks resumed after a 13-month stalemate. Wen said the six-party talks, which are the practical and effective means to solve the nuclear issue, constitute an important platform of communication and consultation for all parties in the process of building up a new model in Northeast Asia. Wen said China is ready to make join efforts with Japan and the ROK to hold sound consultations with other parties, strive for progress in the talks and realize the goal of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula at an early date.

Abe and Roh said Japan and the ROK will work for peaceful resolution of the nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiations and to realize the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. They expressed their willingness to strengthen communication and cooperation with China to expedite the process of the six-party talks.

The leaders of the three countries maintained that their meeting was frank, practical and fruitful, which further made clear the direction of trilateral cooperation in the future. The three parties are ready to abide by the spirit and principles laid out in the joint declaration on tripartite cooperation among China, Japan and the ROK and the joint press statement on the 7th leaders' meeting of China, Japan and the ROK to enhance political trust, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and strengthen communication and coordination in regional affairs, so as to jointly work for lasing peace and development in Asia, they agreed.

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