ASEAN and China, Japan and ROK Foreign Ministers Support Multilateralism

On August 2, the 52nd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and the East Asian Cooperation Series Conference entered the final day. Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the 20th ASEAN and China-Japan-Korea (10+3) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and the 9th The East Asia Summit (10+8) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and responded to regional hot issues of concern to all parties.

At the “10+3” Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, Wang Yi said that 10+3 has been growing and growing for more than 20 years, creating an industrial chain, value chain and cultural circle with unique East Asian characteristics, opening up different social systems and different developments. The model of cooperation and win-win between horizontal and cultural countries makes East Asia one of the most dynamic and promising regions in the world. Wang Yi said that we must firmly uphold multilateralism and free trade, so that 10+3 will become the banner that leads regional economic integration.

The foreign ministers of Japan, South Korea and ASEAN countries all positively evaluated the positive results of the 10+3 cooperation. All parties agreed to support multilateralism and free trade, adhere to the concept of openness and tolerance, and strive to end the regional comprehensive economic partnership agreement (RCEP) negotiations during the year. Regional economic integration process.

In the joint communique issued on July 31, the 52nd ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting re-emphasized the determination to complete the RCEP negotiations this year. Yuan De, executive deputy director of the Department of China and Globalization Studies at Mahidol University in Thailand, told the Global Times on August 2 that the imbalances in the development of Asian countries due to historical and geographical locations can be found in the RCEP framework. Under the improvement. First of all, the upstream and downstream industrial chain in the region can further divide the work according to the actual situation of the country’s productivity and raw material supply, avoiding duplication of construction and improving market transparency. Secondly, the low tariffs and even the final tariff-free policy in the region under the RCEP framework will greatly promote and prosper the regional market. Yuan De said that he expects Japan and South Korea to end the current tariff dispute and join the RCEP construction work as soon as possible.

At the “10+8” Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, Wang Yi said that at present, the international situation is undergoing complex and profound changes. The willingness of countries in the region, especially developing countries, to seek peace and seek development is even stronger. At the same time, various uncertain and unstable factors still exist, protectionism and unilateralism are spreading, and the development of countries faces many risk challenges. Wang Yi made three suggestions: firmly defending multilateralism, coping with transnational challenges, and persisting in dialogue and consultation to solve hot issues. He called on countries to seize opportunities and meet challenges to achieve long-term stability and sustainable development in the region.

In addition, Wang Yi also expressed his views on advancing the political settlement process on the Korean Peninsula issue. He said that the current political solution to the peninsula is still on track and the opportunities are still in the hands of all parties. It is hoped that all parties will follow the “double track and go” approach and follow the “phased and synchronized” approach to strengthen dialogue and consultation, and work in tandem, actively seeking effective ways to achieve complete denuclearization of the peninsula and establish a peace mechanism on the peninsula, and properly resolve each other’s Reasonable concern. China will continue to play a constructive role in this regard.

“Japan Economic News” published a commentary on August 1st, saying that the ASEAN dialogue partners of the United States, China, Japan, South Korea and Russia have made the ASEAN foreign ministers more important, and their attention has exceeded the ASEAN itself because of the ASEAN region. Peace and stability are closely related to these important countries, especially China and the United States. “Competition between the two world powers in China and the United States has intensified tensions in the South China Sea. The recent trade dispute between Japan and South Korea has also raised concerns about regional stability.”

According to the “Bangkok Post” report, US Secretary of State Pompeo held a ministerial meeting on the “Mekong River Downstream Initiative” with five countries in the Mekong River Basin, including Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam on August 1, and Pompeo claimed that China is on the Mekong River. Building a dam upstream will affect the downstream water level. The Lancang-Mekong River is an important river that China and the ASEAN countries rely on to survive. Since the beginning of this year, countries in the Mekong Basin, such as Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, have experienced drought. Wang Yi said on August 2 that the Chinese side noticed some drought in the lower reaches of the Mekong River this year. In fact, not only the downstream areas, but also the upper reaches of the Minjiang River. Taking into account the needs of downstream countries, China has overcome its own difficulties and actively increased its efforts to release water downstream, and the amount of water released has exceeded the average level. I hope that this kind of goodwill measures from China can help alleviate the downstream drought. It is understood that the Lancang River runoff accounts for only 13.5% of the total water volume of the Mekong River. The water volume of the Mekong River Basin is mainly affected by the downstream tributary and rainfall distribution. Wang Yi said that some countries outside the country disregarded the actual situation and issued irresponsible remarks on this issue. I believe that they will not be recognized by the downstream countries.

In an interview with the Global Times reporter on August 2nd, the director of the project and planning department of the Civil Society Organization Alliance Forum of the Cambodian Cabinet Office said that China has always been a world power that takes care of the overall situation. In the “Belt and Road Initiative” initiative, projects to strengthen infrastructure construction in local countries are the main components, including water conservancy projects. Among the countries along the Lancang-Mekong River, China is the country that has taken the most measures in the face of natural disasters. It should be appreciated. What countries should do is not to blamelessly, but to promote information exchange and work together to solve problems. Natural disasters should not be linked to so-called political factors. Some countries often use this as an excuse to blame China. “I strongly disagree with this approach.”