China proposes to advance the construction of an East Asia Economic Community so as to promote regional integration and common development, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said in Manila Tuesday.[Special coverage]
Addressing the 20th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-China, Japan and Republic of Korea (10 3) leaders' meeting, Li said East Asia 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.
Last year, East Asia accounted for 44 percent of the world's economic growth, he noted.
To establish an East Asia Economic Community is a strategic goal of the 10 3 cooperation and accords with the long-term and fundamental interests of the peoples in this region, said the Chinese premier.
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.
The Chinese premier stressed that the envisioned East Asia Economic Community should be built under two principles, namely, putting ASEAN in a central position and adhering to the "ASEAN way" which features consensus through consultation, openness and inclusiveness, and accommodating each party's comfort level.
The 10 3 cooperation is the main channel for promoting the East Asia Economic Community, Li noted.
Meanwhile, the community should also be established on the basis of ASEAN's cooperative mechanism with China, Japan and South Korea respectively and should be a useful supplement to other sub-regional frameworks such the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation and the East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), he added.
Li is in the Philippine capital of Manila for an official visit to the country and a series of leaders' meetings on East Asia cooperation.