HANOI, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao made a four-point proposal on Friday for strengthening cooperation in priority areas between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China, Japan and South Korea (ASEAN Plus Three).
The ASEAN Plus Three cooperation has emerged from severe tests stronger and its status as the main vehicle of East Asian cooperation has been further enhanced, Wen told leaders at the 13th ASEAN plus Three Summit.
"Stronger ASEAN Plus Three cooperation is essential to the revitalization of East Asia," he said.
FIRSTLY, ACCELERATION OF ESTABLISHMENT OF EAST ASIA FREE TRADE AREA
The two sides should enhance coordination to accelerate the establishment of East Asia Free Trade Area (FTA), which will not only help shore up confidence and cement the region's momentum of economic growth, but also is of strategic importance in raising its overall economic competitiveness, Wen said.
As the lead sherpa of the ASEAN Plus Three business cooperation, China has put forward the roadmap for ASEAN Plus Three trade facilitation for the next five years, Wen said.
"China will consult with other parties and propose specific measures to further advance trade and investment liberalization and facilitation within the region," he said.
The premier announced that China will contribute an additional 1 million U.S. dollars to the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Fund to facilitate the building of the East Asia FTA.
With the China-ASEAN, Japan-ASEAN, South Korea-ASEAN FTAs in place, Wen pointed out, the building of China-Japan-South Korea should move faster.
The three countries have decided to sign a tripartite investment agreement as soon as possible and to complete the joint FTA study involving the government, industry, and academia by 2012, Wen said, adding that the three should provide stronger political support and push forward the endeavor with an active and pragmatic approach.
SECONDLY, DEEPENING OF FINANCIAL COOPERATION
Efforts should also be made to deepen financial cooperation, he said, noting that the two sides should make Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization more effective and improve its operation procedures.
The ASEAN Plus Three countries "need to step up exchanges and coordination on macro-economic policies, and strengthen and improve the regional economic monitoring mechanism," Wen said.
"We should continue to build the Asian Bond Market, make good use of the Credit Guarantee Investment Facility and facilitate the issuance of local currency-denominated bonds," Wen said.
Meanwhile, those countries should probe ways to encourage cross-border bond transaction and settlement in the region, and intensify the capacity-building for the development of the bond market, he said.
THIRDLY, PROMOTION OF COOPERATION IN OTHER FIELDS
The premier also called for promoting cooperation in other fields, including food security, agriculture, infrastructure construction, as well as education.
On food security, Wen said China stands ready to join efforts with all parties to build the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve.
"China will donate 1 million U.S. dollars to the reserve on top of the 300,000 tons of rice it pledged last year," he added.
Beijing will continue to host the ASEAN Plus Three Roundtable on Food Security Cooperation Strategy and explore with other nations ways for cooperation on sustainable agricultural production in the region, he said.
In a bid to promote regional economic development, China would like to join ASEAN, Japan, South Korea to support the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity and advance the construction of roads, railways, shipping routes, ports and other facilities in the region, Wen said.
On education cooperation, the Chinese government supports the establishment of the ASEAN Plus Three education ministers' meeting mechanism, the premier said.
FOURTHLY, STRENGTHENING OF COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION ON MAJOR INTERNATIONAL ISSUES
The ASEAN plus Three countries should enhance communication and coordination on major international issues, such as climate change, and push major international conferences to produce positive outcomes, Wen said.
China hopes that next month's Seoul summit of the Group of 20 nations, the first to be held in an Asian country, will achieve positive results in promoting global economic recovery and growth, reform of international financial institutions, international financial supervision and regulation and opposing trade protectionism, he said.
These countries should intensify dialogue and cooperation to promote a full, effective and sustained implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol, call on the development nations to honor their commitment of providing financial and technological support to developing countries, and ensure the Cancun conference to achieve positive outcomes, he said.
"We also need to enhance coordination and work for the success of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit soon to be held in Yokohama," the premier said.
Wen arrived in Vietnam on Thursday for a series of summits between the 10 ASEAN countries and their partners.