Interview: ASEAN+3 leaders' meeting to offer guidance for cooperation in pandemic era: TCS deputy chief

Source: Xinhua| 2020-11-12 19:24:21|Editor: huaxia
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Cao Jing, deputy Secretary-General of the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat (TCS), speaks in an interview with Xinhua in Seoul, South Korea, Nov. 11, 2020. (Xinhua/Wang Jingqiang)

SEOUL, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- The upcoming ASEAN Plus Three leaders' meeting, which involves China, Japan, South Korea and member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), will offer a strategic guidance for regional cooperation in the COVID-19 pandemic era, a deputy chief of an international organization has said.

"It is believed that the upcoming 10+3 Summit will provide strategic guidance for East Asian regional cooperation in the current and post-pandemic period, especially for economic recovery of East Asia," Cao Jing, deputy Secretary-General of the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat (TCS), told Xinhua in an interview on Wednesday.

The leaders' meeting will be held online this weekend, following the special ASEAN Plus Three leaders' meeting on COVID-19 in mid-April that made a regional anti-pandemic cooperation plan at the critical moment in response to the pandemic.

"East Asian countries supported each other with medical supplies, shared relevant experience and technologies, which proved with facts and actions that multilateralism, solidarity and cooperation are the most effective ways to deal with the pandemic," said Cao.

Cao noted that the cooperation among China, Japan and South Korea and the ASEAN Plus Three cooperation are "closely related and mutually promoting each other."

"ASEAN countries have high expectations on China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK), and hope that the trilateral cooperation could inject new momentum into the 10+3 framework," said the TCS deputy chief.

Cao said China, Japan and South Korea have been leading East Asia "at the forefront of global anti-pandemic and economic recovery," citing the continued policy coordination among the three countries.

The three countries have held different ministerial meetings on such sectors as foreign affairs, health, transportation, finance and central bank, while sending medical supplies to help each other overcome the virus crisis.

She noted that China, Japan and South Korea shouldered responsibilities and fulfilled commitments by sharing their experience with and providing assistance to the ASEAN countries and other parts of the developing world.

The TCS deputy chief said her organization has been actively working in jointly fighting against the pandemic since its outbreak as the TCS is mandated to deepen the cooperation among China, Japan and South Korea and promote regional peace and development.

The TCS is an international body that was launched in September 2011 and headquartered in South Korean capital Seoul with an aim to promote peace and common prosperity among the three Asian nations.

On the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), Cao forecast that the signing of the RCEP agreement as scheduled will "create a new highlight and send a positive signal to the global economy."

"It helps boost confidence and step out of the pandemic crisis. The signing of RCEP will promote the robust growth of trade and investment in various countries, reduce the obstruction of the global industrial chains and supply chains, and accelerate the economic recovery after the pandemic," said Cao.

She noted that the signing of RCEP will show that its member states firmly support the multilateral trading system, eventually helping "promote multilateralism and regional economic integration."

Cao forecast that the signing of RCEP will help advance the negotiations on the trilateral free trade agreement (FTA) among China, Japan and South Korea as the leaders of the three countries agreed to speed up the FTA negotiations based on the RCEP negotiations during the 8th trilateral leaders' meeting held in Chengdu in December 2019.

The RCEP is a mega trade pact proposed by ASEAN to boost trade among its 10 member states and with its free trade agreement partners, namely China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand. Negotiations of the RCEP were launched in November 2012.

The ASEAN, founded in 1967, groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Enditem