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Leaders of China, Japan and ROK meet in Beijing

THE second trilateral leaders' meeting of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) started in Beijing this morning.

The meeting is chaired by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and attended by ROK President Lee Myung-bak and Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.

"This year marked the 10th anniversary of the launch of a trilateral cooperative mechanism between China, Japan and the ROK. It is a milestone in the cooperation among the three countries," Wen said.

"This year is also crucial for us to cope with the international financial crisis and resume the economic growth," he said.

Later this month, the three leaders will attend a series of meetings to be held in Thailand.

"Thus the trilateral summit offers a great opportunity for the leaders of the three countries to review and summarize the progress of trilateral cooperation and draw up the future plan," Wen said.

"We will also exchange views on important international and regional issues. It is of great significance in increasing political mutual-trust, promoting mutual beneficial cooperation and advancing stability and development of Asia," he said.

"People from the three countries have high expectations on the tripartite conference. It is also the focus of the international community. We should take joint efforts in reaping new positive achievements of the conference to further trilateral cooperation," Wen said.

Lee Myung-bak and Yukio Hatoyama also made remarks at the meeting.

Tsinghua University professor Liu Jiangyong believed the participants would have different focuses in the meeting.

China was expected to focus on promoting strategic mutual trust and cooperation among the three countries in coping with financial crisis, climate changes and regional problems, Liu said.

Japan was possible to stress building East Asian Community to strengthen trilateral cooperation, while the ROK side might touch upon topic of the denuclearization of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Liu said.

Before the meeting, Wen, Lee and Hatoyama shook hands with each other and took group photos in the Great Hall of the People.

The meeting aimed at reviewing the trilateral cooperation since it was launched in 1999 and laying out plans for future cooperation.

The first meeting of leaders from China, Japan and the ROK outside the ASEAN plus China, Japan and the ROK framework was held in Fukuoka, Japan in 2008.


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