Leaders from Korea, China, and Japan agree to boost cooperation at trilateral summit

By Park Sae-jin Posted : May 27, 2024, 16:49 Updated : May 27, 2024, 17:31
President Yoon Suk Yeol speaks at the joint press conference for the 9th Korea-Japan-China Trilateral Summit held at the state guest house in central Seoul on May 27 From left to right Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio President Yoon and Chinese Premier Li Qiang Courtesy of the Presidential Office
Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio (left), Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol (center) and Chinese Premier Li Qiang attend a press conference after a trilateral summit held in central Seoul on May 27. Courtesy of the Presidential Office

SEOUL, May 27 (AJU PRESS) - Leaders of Korea, China and Japan reaffirmed their commitment to promote peace and prosperity in the East Asian region during their trilateral summit in Seoul on Monday.

The summit, attended by Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, Chinese Premier Li Qiang and Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, came in about four years and five months since it was halted due to the COVID-19 and historical spats and other issues among the Asian neighbors.

At a press conference following the summit held at the Blue House, the former presidential office, Yoon said, "Our ultimate goal lies in achieving peace on the Korean Peninsula in order to ensure peace and stability in East Asia, which is the core interest of the three countries -- Korea, Japan, and China."

The three leaders agreed to hold trilateral summits on a regular basis and establish a consultative body for trilateral cooperation.

"The joint declaration adopted at the summit reflects the three countries' commitment to closely cooperate for improving the livelihoods of people as well as ensuring peace and prosperity in the region," Yoon said.

"We will make every effort to further develop this meeting into a regular fixture to counteract the challenges we currently face," Kishida said, adding that the dialogue will continue in the next trilateral summit scheduled to be held in Japan.

The three leaders also agreed to enhance civil exchanges to promote cooperation among the member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). "We agreed to further promote exchanges through university student exchange programs and tourism and designate the next two years as the years of cultural exchange among the three countries," Kishida said.

Kishida stressed, "We agreed on the importance of promoting cooperation with the ASEAN countries for the stability and prosperity of the region." He emphasized the importance of cooperation with ASEAN countries for regional stability and prosperity, highlighting progress achieved through cooperation with ASEAN, such as the establishment of a financial cooperation fund.

Li pledged that the upcoming next two years would be designated as the years of cultural exchange among the three countries to bolster cooperation in cutting-edge fields such as artificial intelligence (AI), the digital economy, and the green economy.

The three leaders also agreed that maintaining regional peace and stability is one of the top goals. "Relevant parties should maintain their resilience and prevent the situation from worsening and becoming more complex," Li said. "The three countries should deepen strategic communication and trust, focus on long-term common interests, and demonstrate good neighborliness," he added.

Li also said, "The three countries need to respect each other's core interests and major concerns, fully unleash cooperation potential, nurture new cooperation and make bilateral relations and trilateral cooperation mutually reinforcing..... The three countries need to keep industrial and supply chains stable and unimpeded, and restart and complete negotiations on a China-Japan-Korea Free Trade agreement (FTA) as soon as possible."

Li concluded, "China has always valued trilateral cooperation and, taking this meeting as an opportunity, we will work together with Korea and Japan."
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