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Premier Li Keqiang Attends the 17th East Asia Summit

2022-11-14 22:25

On the morning of November 13, 2022 local time, Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council attended the 17th East Asia Summit (EAS) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Leaders of ASEAN countries as well as President Yoon Suk-yeol of the Republic of Korea,  President Joe Biden of the US, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar of India and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov of Russia and  others were present. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen chaired the summit.

Premier Li Keqiang said that now the international and regional landscapes are intricate and complex, with risks and challenges of energy, food and finance keep flaring up. And the region has maintained its overall peace and stability with regional economic integration moving ahead, and a stable system of industrial and supply chains has taken shape. The people in the region have a stronger voice calling for peace and development. Countries in the region need to uphold mutual respect, deepen win-win cooperation, and tackle risks and challenges together. Premier Li Keqiang put forward the following three-point proposal:

First, maintain strategic dialogue and conduct constructive interactions. As a leaders-led strategic forum, the EAS should serve as a platform for dialogue to encourage engagement and consultation among regional countries to increase mutual trust, and properly manage differences. It should avoid decoupling, and still less move toward confrontation. China is ready to work with all other parties to create favorable conditions for broadening and deepening practical cooperation and to consolidate the foundation for lasting peace and stability in East Asia.

Second, pursue mutually beneficial cooperation and tackle risks and challenges together. Keep to the right direction of economic globalization, and continue to pursue trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. To work for sound implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, keep the industrial and supply chains secure, stable and smooth, and push forward the regional economic integration process. To safeguard energy and food security, jointly tackle  climate and ecological challenges, and advance sustainable development in the region.

Third, Uphold ASEAN centrality and foster an inclusive regional architecture. The ASEAN-led architecture of regional cooperation accommodates the interests of all parties, and conforms to the regional reality. While the architecture may be constantly refined in light of evolving situation, ASEAN centrality as its very foundation must not be undermined. All parties should support ASEAN centrality in East Asian cooperation. China supports continued efforts to uphold ASEAN unity and cooperation. The international community should foster a favorable external environment to this end.

Premier Li Keqiang said that the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea serves the interests of all parties. As the world's biggest trader of goods, China has 60 percent of its cargoes shipped through the South China Sea. China advocates maintaining peace, stability and unimpeded sea lanes in the South China Sea. In keeping with the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea that has been in place for 20 years and the principles of international law including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, China is ready to step up a Code of Conduct consultations on the basis of consensus-building. China supports regional countries in making the South China Sea a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation.

Premier Li Keqiang stressed that the achievements China has made in its economic and social development in the past four decades of reform and opening-up are attributable to a peaceful external environment and a stable region which conform to China's fundamental interests. China follows an independent foreign policy of peace and a path of peaceful development. China pursues a win-win strategy of opening-up. China will continue to bring opportunities to other countries in the world with its own development, and is ready to strengthen dialogue and cooperation with all parties to together make East Asia a better place, and jointly preserve peace and prosperity of the world.

The EAS focused on international and regional hotspot issues. On the Ukraine crisis, Premier Li Keqiang pointed out that China always stands for respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, supporting all efforts to peaceful resolution of the crisis, exercising rational restraint, and opposing the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons cannot be used, and nuclear wars must not be fought, he said, urging to maintain a peaceful world order. Premier Li Keqiang also elaborated on China's principled position on the situation on the Korean Peninsula, Myanmar and other issues.

Leaders attending the EAS said that in the face of international tensions and multiple challenges, regional countries should stay united, adhere to mutual respect, conduct dialogue and cooperation, practice open and inclusive multilateralism, safeguard common interests and address common challenges. The EAS should continue to play its due role in promoting strategic dialogue and substantive cooperation, strengthen ASEAN's centrality in East Asia cooperation, deepen cooperation in fields including economy, trade, energy, food, connectivity, digital economy and climate change, and jointly promote economic recovery and sustainable development, so as to build a peaceful, harmonious and prosperous East Asia.

Xiao Jie was present as well.

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