NINGBO, Zhejiang, Apr 10 – Foreign ministers of China, Japan and South Korea met at the weekend in China’s east coast city of Ningbo for talks on trilateral cooperation.
Chaired by Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, the Sixth Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Meeting among the three nations was also attended by Yang’s Japanese and South Korean counterparts Gemba Koichiro and Kim Sung-Hwan.
According to a press release issued after the meeting, the ministers held an in-depth exchange of views on the progress and future direction of the trilateral cooperation.
At the meeting, Yang said as important countries in Asia, the three states should promote economic cooperation amid the global economic uncertainty.
“We shared the view that, as important countries in Asia and beyond, China, South Korea and Japan need to strengthen cooperation as this helps to advance the social and economic development in our countries and contributes to peace, stability and prosperity in Asia and the world at large.”
Yang said the ministers also decided to take more concrete and effective measures to further increase mutual political trust, intensify practical cooperation and expand social and cultural exchanges to upgrade the three nations’ “future-oriented comprehensive cooperative partnership.”
The three nations sealed a long-discussed trilateral investment agreement last month intended to pave the way for closer business ties between them.
The investment deal is the first legal economic agreement between China, Japan and South Korea.
“We reaffirmed our commitment to the early signing of a trilateral investment agreement, to launching FTA negotiations at an early date and to building a China-Japan-South Korea circular economy model base at a faster pace.”
Japanese Foreign Minister Gemba Koichiro also said the negotiations of trilateral investment agreement have made major progress.
“We have made significant progress in the negotiations of trilateral investment agreement, and the FTA negotiations also made great progress. Our three countries will continue working hard to realize the goals of trade cooperation.”
During the meeting, the ministers agreed to jointly support the development of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The foreign ministers also witnessed the official launch of the website of the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat (TCS). The secretariat was set up in September 2011 to further boost trilateral cooperation.
The next Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Meeting is scheduled to be held in South Korea next year.