BEIJING, May 13 (Xinhua) -- The fifth meeting of the leaders of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) kicked off in Beijing on Sunday morning.
The meeting is chaired by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and attended by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and ROK President Lee Myung-bak.
At the start of the meeting, Wen said facts have proved that the cooperation between China, Japan and the ROK is in the fundamental interests of the three nations and their peoples, and "which has increased our strength to fight difficulties and seek common development."
The trilateral meeting is of great significance for peace and stability of the region as the international financial crisis is not yet over and the prospect of the European debt crisis is uncertain, Wen said. "There are many instable, uncertain and unpredictable factors in Northeast Asia and East Asia," he said.
Leaders of the three countries are expected to review the progress of trilateral cooperation and lay out plans for future cooperation during the two-day meeting. They will also exchange views on global and regional issues of common concern.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the normalization of China-Japan ties and the Year of China-Japan Friendly Exchanges, as well as the 20th anniversary of China-ROK diplomatic relations and the Year of China-ROK Friendly Exchanges.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said earlier that cooperation among China, Japan and the ROK had developed rapidly with remarkable results, and he believed the meeting would further boost trilateral cooperation through their joint efforts.
The first meeting of the three countries' leaders outside the ASEAN plus China, Japan and the ROK framework was held in Fukuoka, Japan in 2008.