On May 4, 2018, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a briefing for Chinese and foreign media on Premier Li Keqiang’s visits to Indonesia and Japan, and his attendance at the 7th leaders' meeting of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) in Japan. Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou introduced relevant situation and answered questions from Chinese and foreign journalists.
Kong Xuanyou expressed that at the invitation of President Joko Widodo of Indonesia and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, Premier Li Keqiang will pay official visits to Indonesia and Japan, and attend the 7th China-Japan-ROK leaders' meeting in Japan from May 6 to 11. It is the first visit paid by Chinese Premier after the establishment of the new Chinese government this year, which is of great significance for consolidating China-Indonesia comprehensive strategic partnership, deepening relations between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and trilateral cooperation among China, Japan and the ROK, bringing China-Japan relations back to the track of normal development and planning the further development of relations between the two countries.
I. On the Visit to Indonesia
Kong Xuanyou expressed that Indonesia is an important and major emerging developing country and an important neighboring country and partner of China. In recent years, both countries have witnessed rapid development in bilateral relations, and comprehensively carried out cooperation in various fields with fruitful results. The ASEAN is the privileged direction of China's neighboring diplomacy and a key area of the "Belt and Road" construction, and it is also an important partner of China for promoting the building of a new type of international relations and the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. This year marks the 5th anniversary of the establishment of China-Indonesia comprehensive strategic partnership, and is also the 15th anniversary of the establishment of China-ASEAN strategic partnership. Premier Li Keqiang will hold talks with President Joko Widodo, meet with Vice President Jusuf Kalla and jointly attend the China-Indonesia Business Summit, visit the ASEAN Secretariat, meet with ASEAN Secretary-General, and attend celebration activities marking the 15th anniversary of the establishment of China-ASEAN strategic partnership. During Premier Li Keqiang’s visit in Indonesia, both countries plan to issue a joint statement between the two governments, and sign multiple cooperation documents in such areas as economy, trade and investment.
Ⅱ. On the Attendance at China-Japan-ROK Leaders' Meeting
Kong Xuanyou expressed that this year coincides with the 10th anniversary of China-Japan-ROK leaders' meeting outside the framework of ASEAN plus China, Japan and the ROK (10+3). Next year marks the 20th anniversary of the launching of China-Japan-ROK cooperation. The China-Japan-ROK leaders’ meeting will be held after a hiatus of two and a half years and resume the momentum of trilateral cooperation, for which regional countries are full of expectation. Enhancing trilateral cooperation is of important significance for safeguarding regional peace and stability, promoting the construction of the East Asia Economic Community, and building an open world economy. After attending the meeting, Premier Li Keqiang will jointly meet the press with the leaders of Japan and the ROK, attend the opening ceremony of China-Japan-ROK Business Summit and deliver a speech. China expects that the leaders of the three countries will exchange views on the future development of trilateral cooperation and international and regional situation on the basis of reviewing cooperation progress and outcomes of the three countries, chart the course for trilateral cooperation, jointly promote the negotiations on China-Japan-ROK free trade area and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and oppose trade protectionism, in a bid to push forward the regional economic integration.
III. On the Visit to Japan
Kong Xuanyou expressed that Japan is an important and close neighbor of China. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship. Under the joint efforts of both sides, China-Japan relations have showed the momentum of improvement with exchanges and cooperation in various fields being steadily carried out. Premier Li Keqiang’s visit this time is the first visit to Japan paid by Chinese Premier in the past eight years, and he will hold talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, meet with Emperor Akihito of Japan and principals of the National Diet of Japan as well as heads of the ruling and opposition parties, attend and address the grand reception commemorating the 40th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship, and also travel to Hokkaido for a visit. Premier Li Keqiang will exchange in-depth views with leaders of Japan on increasing political and strategic mutual trust, strengthening practical exchanges and cooperation, properly handling contradictions and differences, and realizing the return of bilateral relations to the track of normal development. Both sides will reach consensus on such areas as promoting bilateral practical cooperation, carrying out the third-party market cooperation, and enhancing bilateral exchanges in culture, media, and youth as well as at local level. It is believed that this visit will inject fresh impetus into the improvement and development of China-Japan relations, and chart the course for the development of bilateral relations in the next step.