ASEAN + 3 aims at a powerful East Asia community
09:02 | 15/01/2007
VNGOVNet – The 10th ASEAN + 3 Summit with China, Japan and the Republic of Korea, and the separate ASEAN + 1 Meetings with China, Japan, Republic of Korea and India took place on Januray 14 in Cebu, Philippines.

 

Photo: Đức Tám

At the ASEAN + 3 Summit, the leaders stressed the importance of the ASEAN + 3 cooperation process and asserted that significant achievements gained over the past nine years in various fields are good preconditions for solidified regional alliance. They affirmed that on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the establishment of ASEAN + 3 process, the next ASEAN + 3 Summit held in late 2007 will issue the second common declaration on East Asia cooperation with strategic and comprehensive orientations for the coming years, towards the long-term target of building an East Asian community.

Besides, the ASEAN + 1 Meetings with each dialogue country (China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and India) were organized to boost the implementation of cooperative activities in the frameworks of comprehensive or strategic partnerships between ASEAN and each of the countries, for the sake of peace, stability and development within the region and in the world. What is prominent in the relations between ASEAN and each dialogue country is as follows:

With China: The leaders highly appreciated the dynamic developments in the ASEAN-China relationship over the recent past as well as in implementing the Action Plan to put the strategic ASEAN-China partnership into reality. The two sides confirmed their determination to observe the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the Eastern Sea (DOC) so that the Convention on the Conduct (COC) can be signed for peace and stability in the region; and to take drastic measures to establish the ASEAN-China free trade area. The leaders witnessed the signing ceremony of the ASEAN-China Trade and Service Agreement, the Plan of Action to Implement the Beijing Declaration on ASEAN-China ICT Cooperative Partnership for Common Development, and the Memorandum of Understanding between ASEAN Secretariat and the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture on Agricultural Cooperation.

 

Photo: Đức Tám

With Japan: The leaders agreed to establish the ASEAN-Japan Eminent Persons Group (EPG) to review the ASEAN-Japan dialogue relationship over the past 30 years and put forth recommendations to solidify this relationship in the future. The Japanese PM proposed to further the strategic ASEAN-Japan partnership on five pillars: economy, politics-security, cultural and people-to-people exchanges, promoting common values, and cooperating for an East Asian community. The Japanese PM informed that Japan will grant US$ 52 million to the promotion of the ASEAN-Japan economic cooperation, JP¥ 35 billion over five years to the Japan-Asia Youth Exchange Program and training young human resources in ASEAN member countries.

With the Republic of Korea: The two sides pledged to speed up negotiations to establish the ASEAN-RoK free trade area on schedule. The ASEAN leaders highly hailed the Republic of Korea as one of the five biggest donors for ASEAN, which was also active in financing ASEAN’s efforts in community building and development gap bridging.

With India: The leaders reaffirmed their determination to accelerate and complete negotiations on the ASEAN-India free trade area in July 2007; develop road and air transport infrastructure to facilitate trade, investment, as well as cultural and people-to-people exchange between the two sides. Moreover, the leaders also stressed the cooperation potentialities between India and ASEAN and the necessity to increase cooperation in the advantageous fields of India, such as science and technology, informatics, and pharmacy; promote two-way tourism through publicity campaigns in ASEAN and India; and cooperate to raise the capacity to deal with and control natural calamities by establishing the early warning systems in the region. The ASEAN leaders applauded India’s "Look East" policy. 

Addressing these meetings, PM Nguyễn Tấn Dũng said that the cooperation potentialities between ASEAN and the dialogue countries are great, so every side should make use the available advantages to make their cooperation more substantial. He put forth many important ideas and proposals to strengthen the cooperation between ASEAN and the dialogue countries in the fields of mutual benefits, including economy, trade, tackling transnational issues (bird flu, natural disaster control and energy security). PM Nguyễn Tấn Dũng suggested that the dialogue countries give more  support and assistance to ASEAN, especially in infrastructure construction, capacity building, poverty alleviation, and scientific and technological development.

By Hoàng Nguyên Hồ

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