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ASEAN+1 talks conclude with ties deepened

By Xinhua,

Singapore : Foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) held talks with their counterparts from the key dialogue partners separately here on Wednesday, discussing further cooperation in integrated markets, climate changes and regional security.


ASEAN and China agreed to enhance their cooperation in order to meet serious challenges posed by rising oil and food prices, the slowdown of world economy, the depreciation of U.S. dollar, rising trade protectionism and natural disasters, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.

During the ASEAN-China Ministerial Meeting, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said that China is willing to hold high-level dialogues with ASEAM member countries and exchange views on bilateral and major international issues, adding that China has decided to send an ambassador to ASEAN.

Yang said China will work closely with ASEAN to speed up the establishment of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area.

China attaches great importance to its ties with ASEAN and highly values ASEAN’s role in contributing significantly to peace, stability and prosperity in the region and the promotion of common development, he said, adding that China will, as always, support ASEAN’s unique role in achieving the long-term goal of building an East Asian community.


Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura and his counterparts from the 10-member ASEAN reaffirmed their aim for the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (AJCEP) to take effect by the end of this year.

Komura said that Japan would like to work with ASEAN for the FTA (Free Trade Area) “to take effect as early as possible by the end of this year.”

Andrew Tan, Singapore’s spokesman for the annual ministerial meetings said that the agreement, Japan’s first FTA with a regional bloc, will improve economic cooperation between ASEAN and Japan.

ASEAN also welcomed Japan’s decision to appoint an ambassador to the Jakarta-based ASEAN Secretariat, said the spokesman.


South Korea’s Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan said that countries participating in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) will launch a cooperative fund and South Korea is willing to make financial contribution to the fund.

ASEAN-South Korea will continue to make efforts to establish ASEAN-ROK Center to promote ASEAN-ROK coordination.


Singapore’s Foreign Minister George Yeo, also co-chair Of ASEAN-U.S. dialogue relations, thanked the United States for its gesture of friendship for having appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Scot Marciel as the first U.S. Ambassador for ASEAN Affairs.

The U.S. is the first of ASEAN’s dialogue partners to appoint an ambassador to the regional bloc.

“Looking ahead, the ASEAN-U.S. relationship will remain a key pillar in the evolving political and security architecture of the region,” Yeo said, adding “the U.S. has abiding strategic interests in the ASEAN region.”


ASEAN thanks EU for sharing its experience in drafting ASEAN Charter, aiming to transform the 10-member bloc from a loose association into a rules-based organization.

Both regional blocs also committed to strengthening cooperation in key areas such as climate changes, regional integration, the spokesman said.


The foreign ministers of Russia and the ASEAN approved a roadmap of cooperation until 2015. The document defined specific measures aimed at strengthening ties, including in energy and energy security, science and technology, dealing with consequences of natural calamities, and tourism.

Foreign ministers of ASEAN also held talks with their counterparts from Canada, New Zealand, India and Australia.

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.