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Ministry of Foreign Affairs Holds Briefing for Chinese and Foreign Media on Premier Li Keqiang's Attendance at the Series of Leaders' Meetings on East Asia Cooperation and His Official Visit to the Philippines

On November 6, 2017, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a briefing for Chinese and foreign media on Premier Li Keqiang's attendance at the series of leaders' meetings on East Asia cooperation and his visit to the Philippines. Assistant Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong and Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen expounded on relevant information and answered questions from Chinese and foreign journalists.

Chen Xiaodong expressed that at the invitation of President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, the rotating chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Premier Li Keqiang will travel to Manila from November 12 to 16 for the series of leaders' meetings on East Asia cooperation, including the 20th China-ASEAN (10+1) Summit, the 20th ASEAN-China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (10+3) Summit and the 12th East Asia Summit (EAS). After these meetings, Premier Li Keqiang will pay an official visit to the Philippines. Moreover, he will also attend the leaders' meeting on Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) on the sidelines of the series of leaders' meetings on East Asia cooperation.

The visit marks the first overseas trip of the head of government of China after the successful conclusion of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and it is also an important move at the opening stage of the neighboring diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in the new era. The visit is of great significance to consolidate and deepen the good neighborly and friendly cooperation between China and the Philippines, improve China-ASEAN relations, advance the process of regional cooperation in East Asia, and promote the construction of a community of shared future for Asian countries.

I. On Attendance at the Series of Leaders' Meetings on East Asia Cooperation

Chen Xiaodong said that in recent years, East Asia has maintained a stable situation and enjoyed the rapid development, which injects positive energy into the international political pattern and provides driving forces for world economic growth. This year is a "grand year" for regional cooperation in East Asia, which coincides with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the ASEAN and the 20th anniversary of the launch of 10+3 cooperation. Next year will witness the 15th anniversary of the establishment of China-ASEAN strategic partnership. China-ASEAN relations will embark on a new journey of upgrading and East Asia cooperation will be greeted with new opportunities. China hopes that the series of meetings will focus on dialogue and cooperation, strive to expand consensus, jointly pursue mutually beneficial development, work together to address pressing challenges, and further strengthen cooperation in such areas as economic development, social and people-to-people and cultural engagement and non-traditional security, so as to make new contributions to building a clean and beautiful East Asia featuring long-lasting peace, universal security, common prosperity, openness and inclusiveness.

Premier Li Keqiang will brief on the spirit of the 19th CPC National Congress, explain the diplomatic policy toward neighboring countries with Chinese characteristics in the new era, and China's policy on East Asia cooperation. He will also propose nearly 30 new initiatives to deepen practical cooperation under various mechanisms, covering such areas as connectivity, food security, poverty alleviation, tourism and anti-corruption, which is expected to improve and upgrade China-ASEAN cooperation and elevate East Asia cooperation to a new level.

Wang Shouwen said that the EAS countries play a pivotal role in the world economy, and they are all China's important economic and trading partners. China will work together with these countries to jointly promote the establishment of a fair, reasonable and transparent system of rules and regulations on investment in international trade and to build an economic globalization featuring openness, inclusiveness, shared benefits, balance and win-win results, so as to safeguard the hard-won world economic recovery and inject continuous impetus into the advancement of economic and trade cooperation in this region.

II. On the Official Visit to the Philippines

Chen Xiaodong said the Philippines is China's friendly neighbor and important partner. Since last year, China-Philippines relations have achieved a turnabout and been constantly developing towards a positive direction. The Philippines is the destination of Premier Li Keqiang's first visit after the 19th CPC National Congress, which shows that China attaches great importance to China-Philippines relations. This is also the first visit to the Philippines by a Chinese Premier in a decade. It is believed that the visit will vigorously advance bilateral relations in the new era and promote China-Philippines relations to become an important practice of building a new type of international relations as well as a community with a shared future for mankind.

During his visit, Premier Li Keqiang will hold talks with President Rodrigo Duterte and meet with Senate President Aquilino Pimentel and Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines Pantaleon Alvarez. The leaders of the two countries will have an in-depth exchange of views on how to deepen China-Philippines relations in the new era, practical cooperation in various fields and regional and international issues of common concern. They will also attend the foundation stone laying ceremony and the launching ceremony of a project funded and built by China. During the visit, the two sides intend to issue a joint statement that reflects the major consensus and achievements of the visit. It is expected to reach a series of important cooperation achievements in such fields as infrastructure, economy, trade, investment, social and people-to-people and cultural engagement.

Wang Shouwen said that since the turnabout of China-Philippines relations, the two sides have smoothly advanced cooperation in such fields as trade, investment, development assistance, major infrastructure and people's livelihood projects, and personnel exchanges, making remarkable achievement. During the visit, the two sides intend to have extensive and in-depth exchanges of views and sign a number of cooperation documents covering infrastructure, industrial parks, and the implementation of assistance to the Philippines, in order to vigorously promote the comprehensive cooperation between the two countries and push bilateral practical cooperation for new results.

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