MANILA — The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) reaffirmed its cooperation with Japan, Korea, and China during the 20th ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Commemorative Summit on Tuesday, November 14.
President Rodrigo Duterte, chairman of the 31st ASEAN Summit, urged his fellow ASEAN leaders and three dialogue partners — Japan, China and Korea, to continue nurturing a peaceful co-existence within the region.
“I urge my fellow leaders to continue nurturing peaceful co-existence, particularly within the ASEAN Plus Three, where we consider ourselves as one and a family,” Duterte said in his opening remarks at the 20th ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Commemorative Summit here in Manila.
Duterte noted that over the past two decades, cooperation among ASEAN and its three dialogue partners continued to flourish steadily.
“We owe a great measure of our success to our common bond and vision but most of all, sharing common traits and values that are deeply embedded in our customs and traditions that help us develop a culture of tolerance and understanding among us, providing a space for positive dialogue,” he said.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meanwhile underscored the significance of increased financial cooperation among ASEAN Plus Three.
“In the midst of concerns about the rise of protectionism and inward looking orientation in the world, in order to enhance predictability of the economies of the region and the world, to mitigate vulnerabilities and to maintain and strengthen the free trading system, the significance of financial cooperation between the ASEAN Plus Three becomes increasingly greater,” Abe said.
He further said that Japan will supply rice to Laos and Myanmar again this year through the APT emergency rice reserve agreement. It will also provide assistance to refugees in Mindanao.
For his part, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang noted that due to globalization and protectionism, there is a need to build consensus and send a positive signal that the APT is supporting regional integration as well as the advancement of the East Asia Economic Community (EAEC).
Korean President Moon Jae-in meanwhile said that to overcome a crisis, the APT must take note of their collective experience and take cooperation to a new level.
“Such a collective experience of overcoming the crisis remains valuable heritage to us. Now, we must take ourselves to a new level to realize cooperative mechanism that provides protection and care to the lives of our members in the region,” he said, noting how Asia was able to rise from the financial crisis in 1999.
“Let us overcome the complex challenges, including protectionist and self-centered approaches… aging, and climate change,” Moon said. (PND)