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Remarks at the 11th East Asia Summit


中华人民共和国国务院总理  李克强

H.E. Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China



Vientiane, 8 September 2016





Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith,

Dear Colleagues,




It gives me great pleasure to join you in the beautiful city of Vientiane.




The world political and economic landscape is undergoing complex and profound changes. There has been anemic global growth, resurfacing trade protectionism, and increasing regional hotspots and global challenges such as political and security conflicts and turbulence, refugee flow and terrorism. All this makes it imperative and daunting to promote steady world economic recovery and maintain international peace and stability. In comparison, East Asia is still regarded as a land free of war and conflict and a land of robust growth of trade and investment. It is with such peace and stability that we have achieved development and prosperity. Such achievements are hard-won and should be doubly cherished by all sides.




Since its inception in 2005, the EAS has played a positive role in enhancing mutual understanding and mutual trust as well as regional peace, stability, development and prosperity. The EAS has now entered its second decade. Parties need to cherish and draw on the experience that the EAS has obtained, keep working in the right direction, highlight priorities, and secure steady progress for East Asian cooperation for the long run.




We need to keep the EAS as a “leaders-led” strategic forum, support ASEAN centrality, adhere to the ASEAN way of building consensus and accommodating each other’s comfort level, and advance dialogue and cooperation in a positive and pragmatic way. China supports institution building of the EAS and the setting up of an EAS unit of ASEAN Secretariat. China hopes that the unit will coordinate efforts to review progress in the Plan of Action to Implement the Phnom Penh Declaration on the EAS Development Initiative and that the drafting of a second-phase plan of action will be started in due course, so as to take EAS cooperation to new heights.




Economic development cooperation and political and security cooperation are the two wheels driving EAS forward. They should reinforce each other and advance in parallel.




In economic development: first, we need to vigorously support connectivity building in the region. China and Laos have jointly proposed a Vientiane Declaration on Promoting Infrastructure Development Cooperation in East Asia to be issued at today’s EAS with a view to inject enduring impetus to regional integration. China hopes to work with all parties to promote development of the Belt and Road Initiative. We could use such financing platforms as the AIIB and the Silk Road Fund to provide capital support for regional connectivity. Second, we need to speed up the building of FTAs. China and ASEAN are stepping up efforts to deliver the outcomes of the protocol to upgrade the FTA, and China, Japan and the ROK will work together for early progress in the negotiations of the trilateral FTA. We hope to see early conclusion of the RCEP negotiations so that the RCEP and other free trade arrangements will reinforce each other and promote the development of an inclusive FTA of the Asia-Pacific. Third, we need to strengthen cooperation in areas related to people’s well-being. China will ensure success of the EAS Clean Energy Forum and EAS New Energy Forum, and will facilitate sharing of relevant technologies and experience. China will continue to engage actively in education policy dialogue with countries in the region and will encourage cooperation in training programs and exchanges in language and culture.




In the political and security area, China upholds the diplomatic tradition that all countries, irrespective of size, are equal and should respect one another; China champions a new vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and calls for joint efforts to uphold regional peace and tranquillity. First, we need to enhance non-traditional security cooperation. Non-traditional security threats such as terrorism, natural disasters, transnational crimes and infectious diseases are getting more prominent and posing imminent security challenges to countries in the region. China will step up cooperation with all parties to cope with these challenges. Since 2012, China, the United States and relevant UN agencies have held five rounds of earthquake emergency response exercises and will hold the sixth round next year. China will host a workshop to exchange experience in maritime search and rescue next year. Second, we need to explore building of the regional security architecture. The EAS, as a strategic forum, should pay high attention to the regional security architecture. It should foster a new thinking on regional security and build a regional security architecture that reflects the reality of the region and meets the need of all parties concerned. China welcomes the sixth Seminar on Regional Security Architecture to be hosted by Thailand next year and will consider holding a track-two workshop in this regard. Third, we need to properly handle hotspot and sensitive issues. Countries in this region live side by side as neighbors. Frictions are hardly avoidable, just like between the tongue and the teeth. Parties concerned need to adhere to the principle of mutual respect, seeking common ground while shelving differences and peaceful coexistence, and properly handle differences and disagreements through direct negotiation and consultation. Pending the final solution of relevant issues, it is important to carry out dialogue, seek cooperation, manage differences and frictions and prevent escalation of tension.




The situation on the Korean Peninsula remains complex and sensitive. China’s position regarding the Korean Peninsula is consistent. We are committed to the nuclear nonproliferation regime, to denuclearization on the Peninsula, to maintaining peace and stability there, and to resolving issues through dialogue and consultation. Parties need to implement relevant UN Security Council resolutions in their entirety. They need to work together to maintain peace and stability on the Peninsula, and quickly bring the Korean nuclear issue back to the track of dialogue and negotiation. China firmly opposes any move that might aggravate tension in the region, and welcomes all actions and dialogue that are conducive to easing tension in that part of the region.
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