MANILA – Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday called for speeding up negotiations on China-Japan-South Korea free trade agreement (FTA).
"China stands ready to work with relevant parties to speed up negotiations of China-Japan-South Korea FTA, taking a more active part in promoting negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, so as to achieve the long-term goal of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP)," he said.
The Chinese premier made the remarks while addressing the 20th ASEAN-China, Japan and South Korea (10+3) leaders' meeting in the Philippines’ capital, Manila.
China-Japan-South Korea FTA negotiations were launched in November 2012, with the 12th round of the negotiations being held in Tokyo this April.
During the meeting, he called for further promoting trade liberalization and facilitation to establish an East Asia Economic Community, which is a strategic goal of the 10+3 cooperation.
China proposes to advance the establishment of an East Asia Economic Community to promote regional integration and common development, he said.
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With the rise of anti-globalization sentiments and trade protectionism worldwide, Li said it is time to push for the construction of such a community in East Asia so as to make the region an important engine of global economic recovery.
Pointing out that East Asia accounted for 44% of global growth in 2016, Li said the region had weathered the storm of two financial crises and is now one of the world's most dynamic and promising regions in terms of development.
Li was in the Philippine capital of Manila for an official visit to the country and a series of leaders' meetings on East Asia cooperation.