Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi Attends the EAS Foreign Ministers Consultation

On July 22, 2011, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi attended the East Asia Summit (EAS) Foreign Ministers' Consultation in Bali, Indonesia and delivered a speech.

Yang said since its creation five years ago, the East Asia Summit (EAS) has engaged in an extensive exchange of views on major regional and international issues of strategic importance including the international financial crisis, public health, energy security, environment and climate change, disaster prevention and mitigation, which has not only deepened understanding between countries but also promoted bilateral and multilateral cooperation and regional development. The joining of Russia and the U.S. has injected broader strategic connotations to the EAS. China hopes with the membership expansion, the East Asia Summit will continue to adhere to the "leaders-led" nature of the strategic forum and make greater contributions to peace, stability and prosperity of East Asia.

Yang pointed out the East Asia Summit should take into account the following four aspects for its future development: first, closely following the theme of development. China is willing to work with all parties to promote cooperation in the five priority areas (education, finance, energy, public health, and disaster management) and in other areas such as regional interconnection and food security; second, being committed to increasing solidarity and mutual trust. The EAS should insist on mutual respect, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, and resolving disputes through consultation and dialogue. The EAS should focus on nurturing and practicing a new security concept and try to avoid topic involving a country's internal affairs and specific disputes between states. The EAS should regard non-traditional security issues as a priority in political and security dialogue and cooperation; third, paying attention to the pace and progressing in a solid manner. The EAS should continue to adhere to the principle of ASEAN's leadership, consensus, step-by-step incremental progress, and a comfort level for all; fourth, adhering to the open nature of the forum and develop with other cooperation mechanisms in an coordinated manner. The EAS should leverage its "leaders-led" advantage and characteristics, better reflect the strategic nature of collaboration and discuss major issues facing regional development from the macro level so as to provide guidance for regional cooperation.

Yang said China has actively participated in the EAS cooperation over the years and China will continue to actively implement related initiatives and make efforts to promote regional peace, cooperation and development.

Foreign Minister Yang also elaborated on China's views on the political and economic situation of the region. He said Asia has become a region enjoying the fastest economic growth and having the strongest dynamism in the world. Asia has provided confidence and strength for the world to overcome the financial crisis and advance the recovery process. In 2010, Asia's contribution to world economic growth reached 50%. China also made its own contribution to Asia's development. Asia's development is open and inclusive. China believes that Asian countries can overcome various difficulties and challenges and achieve sustained economic and social development through closer cooperation within Asia and with countries in other regions of the world.

With regard to the situation on the Korean Peninsula, Foreign Minister Yang stressed that China has been committed to maintaining peace and stability on the peninsula and achieving a nuclear-free peninsula through dialogue and consultation. The Chinese side welcomes the efforts made by all parties to promote dialogue and welcomes the dialogue between the south and the north. China is willing to maintain close communication and coordination with all parties and the international community to brainstorm and explore new ideas to achieve the early resumption of the six-party talks and pull the peninsula back on the track of dialogue and consultation. This is also the common aspiration of the international community.

The participating foreign ministers welcomed the Russian and U.S. foreign ministers in their first official participation in EAS. The parties reviewed the EAS cooperation and had a full exchange of views on the future direction of the forum. The parties spoke positively of the achievements of the East Asia Summit in the cooperation in the five priority areas. The parties believed with the enlargement of the summit, it is necessary to continue to consolidate and expand cooperation achievements on the basis of adhering to the ASEAN-led principle and give full play to the "leaders-led" role of the strategic forum. The parties all hoped that the related parties could make earnest planning and preparations for the Sixth East Asia Summit and ensure its success. The foreign ministers also exchanged views on international and regional issues.

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