Backgrounder: Trilateral meetings of China, Japan, ROK leaders

13:16, May 20, 2011      

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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will attend the 4th trilateral leaders' meeting among China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) in Tokyo from May 21 to 22, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu announced Sunday.

Leaders from the three nations will have an in-depth discussion on cooperation between the countries and regional and international issues of common concern, Jiang said.

Wen will also hold bilateral meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan and ROK President Lee Myung-bak, she said.

The meeting is held within the framework of a regular meeting mechanism of the three East Asian nations' leaders.

The first summit was held in the Japanese city of Fukuoka on Dec. 13, 2008, when Premier Wen joined his then Japanese counterpart Taro Aso and South Korean President Lee in discussions of tripartite cooperation, the global financial crisis and other issues of common concern.

The leaders agreed to enhance cooperation on disaster management, as the three countries are subject to such natural disasters as earthquakes, typhoons, floods, sediment-related disasters and tsunamis, a joint statement after the meeting said.

The second summit, held on Oct. 10, 2009, in Beijing, was chaired by Premier Wen and attended by then Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and South Korean President Lee.

During the meeting, the three leaders vowed to deepen trilateral cooperation from a strategic perspective.

A joint statement issued during the event said that the three countries had enhanced mutual political trust through forging a future-oriented, comprehensive cooperative partnership. Moreover, the common interests of the three nations have continuously grown, the mechanisms for dialogue have been further broadened and cooperation in a range of fields has been promoted since the launch of trilateral cooperation in 1999, the statement said.

The third summit was convened in the South Korean resort island of Jeju from May 29 to 30, 2010, during which Premier Wen, South Korean President Lee and then Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama unveiled a blueprint for trilateral cooperation in economy, security, environmental protection, cultural exchange and other areas in the next decade.

During the meeting, the three leaders also agreed to form a permanent secretariat to be tasked with facilitating tripartite cooperation. They also exchanged views on the sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan in March 2010. The three nations promised to maintain communication and properly handle the incident in the interest of regional peace and stability.

Before the independent regular meeting mechanism took shape, eight tripartite meetings were held on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Plus Three summits held in ASEAN member countries. The following is a chronology of the eight meetings:

-- The first trilateral meeting brought together then Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji, then Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi and then South Korean President Kim Dae-jung for an informal breakfast meeting on Nov. 28, 1999, in Manila, the Philippines. The leaders had a friendly conversation focusing on the domestic economic situation in their respective countries as well as the regional economic situation.

-- Then Chinese Premier Zhu, then Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and then South Korean President Kim held a breakfast meeting on Nov. 24, 2000, in Singapore.

The leaders exchanged views on enhancing cooperation among the three countries and on their cooperation with ASEAN, reaching consensus on many issues.

-- On Nov. 5, 2001, then Chinese Premier Zhu, then Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and then South Korean President Kim held a breakfast meeting in the Brunei capital Bandar Seri Begawan.

The leaders exchanged views on boosting economic and trade cooperation among the three countries and reached consensus on a wide range of issues.

-- On Nov. 4, 2002, then Chinese Premier Zhu, then Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi and then South Korean Prime Minister Kim Suk-soo held the fourth trilateral meeting in Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh.

-- Premier Wen, then Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi and then South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun held the fifth meeting on Oct. 7, 2003, in Bali, Indonesia.

The leaders discussed cooperation among the three countries, their cooperation with ASEAN and other issues of common concern. They also signed the Joint Declaration on the Promotion of Tripartite Cooperation among China, Japan and South Korea.

-- The sixth trilateral meeting was held on Nov. 29, 2004, in Vientiane, the capital of Laos. It was attended by Premier Wen, then Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi and then South Korean President Roh. At the meeting, the Action Strategy on Trilateral Cooperation was adopted, and a progress report on cooperation among the three countries was issued.

-- Premier Wen, then Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and then South Korean President Roh held the seventh meeting on Jan. 14, 2007, in Cebu, the Philippines.

The three leaders exchanged views on promoting political trust and mutually beneficial cooperation between their countries and reached consensus on many issues. They also released a joint press statement, reaffirming their commitment to a peaceful resolution of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.

-- On Nov. 20, 2007, Premier Wen, then Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, and then South Korean President Roh attended the eighth meeting in Singapore, agreeing to further promote trilateral cooperation.

Source: Xinhua
 
 
     
 
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