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Li Keqiang Attends the 14th East Asia Summit
2019/11/05

On the afternoon of November 4, 2019 local time, Premier Li Keqiang attended the 14th East Asia Summit (EAS) in Bangkok, Thailand. Leaders of the 10 member states of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev of Russia, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand, as well as Robert O'Brien, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs of the United States and others attended the summit. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha of Thailand presided over the summit.

Li Keqiang expressed, we face a complex and fluid international situation characterized by flare-ups of regional hotspots, and global growth is losing steam. These uncertainties and destabilizing factors are also weighing on East Asia. Overcoming new risks and challenges, maintaining steady growth and upholding peace and development have become a more pressing and arduous task.

Li Keqiang pointed out, we need to keep the EAS as a "leaders-led strategic forum", advance both political and security cooperation and social and economic development, and promote both strategic communication and practical cooperation. We need to uphold ASEAN centrality, stay focused on East Asia and the Asia Pacific, maintain the existing architecture of regional cooperation, and take cooperation forward along the right track.

We need to promote win-win cooperation and build an open world economy. We need to step up cooperation in the spirit of mutual support that has helped us navigate through the international financial crisis and Eastern Asian financial crisis. We need to firmly support multilateralism and free trade, and make economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial for all.

We need to put development first and seek common prosperity. The Statement on Partnership for Sustainability, which will be issued at the Summit, is conducive to energizing common efforts by EAS members to achieve more balanced, efficient and sustainable development in our region. We need to boost innovation to foster new drivers of growth. As next year has been designated the China-ASEAN Year of Digital Economy Cooperation, China is ready to enhance cooperation with ASEAN on smart cities, the digital economy, artificial intelligence and e-commerce. What we need is an open environment for healthy competition and cooperation where more countries and peoples could share in the resources and outcomes of innovation.

We need to advance cooperation in non-traditional security fields to preserve common security. Facing non-traditional security challenges, we need to enhance dialogue and communication for collective responses. China will hold a counter-terrorism joint exercise this month and and continue to support the relevant UN agency in preparing for the earthquake response exercise to be held in Thailand next month to tackle these non-traditional security threats.

Li Keqiang stressed, China and ASEAN countries have worked relentlessly to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea and have constantly built consensus. Last year, the Chinese side proposed that we conclude the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) in three years' time, which was positively received. We have completed the first reading ahead of schedule in July this year, and the second reading has commenced. China and ASEAN countries are now working toward concluding the COC by the end of 2021 or even earlier. It is hoped that all parties will create a favorable environment to this end. The freedom of navigation in the South China Sea has never been a problem. Countries within the region have the ability and wisdom to complete the formulation of the COC and safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea. Countries from outside the region, who are not direct parties to the South China Sea issue, should show real respect and support for the efforts of the regional countries.

The leaders present expressed, the EAS is an important leaders-led regional strategic forum in the region, in which positive results have been achieved in various fields these years. Under the new circumstances, all EAS parties should enhance mutual trust, expand cooperation and boost sustainable development to jointly address traditional and non-traditional challenges such as climate change and terrorism. East Asia should not be a chessboard for major country competition. The region is committed to promoting cooperation and common development, and opposing the zero-sum game. All parties are committed to completing negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, and upgrading regional economic integration. They welcome the positive progress from the COC consultations. It is hoped that all parties will promote maritime cooperation, properly manage differences through dialogue and consultation, and jointly safeguard regional peace and stability.

The summit adopted the Statement on Partnership for Sustainability and issued outcome documents such as combating the spread of drugs and cracking down transnational crime through cooperation.

At noon of the same day, Li Keqiang attended a luncheon on sustainable development in Bangkok.

Xiao Jie was present.

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